Mumbai Drugs Case: Aryan Khan, 7 Others Sent to Judicial Custody for 14 Days
The Narcotics Control Bureau asked the Court to extend custody of Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchantt till 11 October.
Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan and seven other accused have been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days in the cruise ship case, as per a report by Live Law. While passing the verdict, the court noted, "No custodial interrogation is required as sufficient time and opportunity was granted to NCB for investigation. Hence, they are remanded to judicial custody". Hearing for the bail plea for Aryan Khan is currently on. The court also noted that the accused will stay in NCB's custody till Friday, 8 October, and Aryan's bail hearing will also be heard on that day at 11am.
During the bail hearing, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had asked the Court to extend custody of Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchantt till 11 October citing 'new facts and nuances'. One Aachit Kumar, alleged to have supplied drugs to Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchantt has been remanded to NCB's custody till 9 October.
The NCB, through Associate Solicitor General Anil Singh, sought the custody of the 8 accused till 11 October saying that their confrontation with the accused Aachit Kumar and the foreign national (arrested on Wednesday) is essential for the investigation of the "nexus".
Following Aachit Kumar's remand hearing, Aryan Khan, Munmun Dhamecha, Arbaaz Merchantt, and 5 others were presented before the Court. Aachit Kumar and Munmun Dhamecha's advocates applied for their bail and the applications are in abeyance.
NCB Seeks Custody of Aryan Khan and 7 Others Till 11 Oct
ASG Singh submitted, "From October 4 till today, (we've) made progress. We intercepted organisers, suppliers. We need custody to established the entire gang operating."
"But the entire chain will have to be seen. My learned friend (Aryan Khan's lawyer, advocate Satish Maneshinde) has filed an application for withdrawal of the statement he has made," Singh added.
Advocate Satish Maneshinde argued, for Aryan Khan, "As per Toofan Singh's case statement under 67 of NDPS Act can be used only for investigation. I had readily agreed for one day remand, on Sunday. Apart from the arrest of unconnected accused, nothing happened on 4 October."
Maneshinde further argued that if the NCB had arrested Aachit Kumar based on Aryan Khan's statement, "Any senior officer will confront him with me on the first day (5 October) to ascertain if I had any association with him."
Aryan, through advocate Maneshinde, said that he can't be remanded to custody on the sole basis of confronting him with someone, adding, "Now they have arrested cruise organisers... Now conspiracy will be if I have ANY ASSOCIATION with anyone else on the ship."
Aryan's statement added that he was invited to the cruise ship by a friend, Pratik Gaba, probably to "add glamour" since he is associated to Bollywood.
Aryan Khan's Statement on Extended Custody
Aryan also stated that Pratik had invited Arbaaz Merchantt independently. "It is not their case that all passengers were involved in the rave party. I have chats with Pratik, there is no mention of a rave party in these chats," Aryan argued.
Aryan further said that he didn't go to the cruise ship event with Arbaaz, but they entered together because they know each other. He claimed that his bag was searched twice but nothing was found, and then his phone was taken from him.
"In 7 days if the NCB has been unable to say anything to unearth conspiracy, there can be nothing now. Therefore my NCB custody is not required." Aryan said, through advocate Maneshinde.
Advocate Satish Maneshinde argued that the investigation involving Aryan hasn't progressed, claiming that Aryan knows Arbaaz and Aachit but didn't buy anything from them.
Advocate Khan, representing 2 others accused in the case, said that most of the accused have been caught with 'small quantities'.
Advocate Ali Kashiff for Munmun Dhamecha claimed that Munmun doesn't know Aryan or Arbaaz, adding that anything recovered was found in a room. Kashiff informed that Munmun has filed for the CCTV footage.
For Arbaaz Merchantt, advocate Taraq Sayed, alleged that the NCB tried to "prejudice the court". Arbaaz Merchantt asked the court to refer to his bail application wherein he'd requested for CCTV footage, alleging that the substances recovered from him were "planted by the NCB".
The advocates for Vikrant Chhoker, Lakshmi Raman, Gomit Chopra asked for judicial custody for their clients.
Aachit Kumar Sent to NCB Custody Till 9 October
Aachit's advocate Ashwin Thool argued that Aachit's arrest by the NCB is illegal. The Court noted that the search and seizure report submitted is dated 5 October 2021.
Aryan Khan was arrested following a raid by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), on a cruise ship off the shore of Mumbai.
Special Public Prosecutor Advait Sethna, representing NCB, distributed the remand applications to the counsels. The remand application states, "The NCB has also arrested on Aachit Kumar along with recovery of contraband on October 6. The said Aachit Kumar has been named by Aryan Khan," according to updates by Live Law.
Referring to the same, Sethna told the Court, "New facts and nuances are coming up. As there is an apparent nexus with 1 and 2, keeping everyone on the same pedestal we are seeking custody till 11."
In the Additional Solicitor General's absence, advocate Sethna moves the Court to hear the remand for Aachit Kumar.
Arguments in Aachit Kumar Remand Hearing
The remand further states, "Further during inquiry of Arbaaz Merchantt the name of Aachit was revealed. Hence for further investigation confrontation with the already arrested persons is necessary. Abdul Kadar Sheikh has been apprehended with commercial quantity of Ecstacy."
Abdul Qadir Sheikh, along with Manish Darya, Avin Sahu, and Shreyas Nair, was sent to NCB custody till 11 October. While Shreyas was arrested on Monday, the others were held on Tuesday.
The prosecutor Advait Sethna told the Court, "As far as Aryan and Arbaz Merchantt are concerned, this accused (Achit Kumar) is the supplier. 2.6 grams of ganja was recovered for him."
The accused Aachit, through advocate Ashwin Thool, said, "These lies need to stop somewhere. They are saying I am part of the network, why am I charged only with consumption."
Aachit Kumar's counsel advocate Ashwin Thool alleged that NCB's arrest of Aachit is illegal, and argued that such a detention can only be allowed in special circumstances. The magistrate should give reasons for the authorisation of such a detention.
The Court had also noted that advocate Thool argued that his client should've produced before a court on 6 October if he was arrested on the 5th.
Aryan Khan, Others Sent to NCB Custody at Remand Hearing
During a remand hearing for the case on 5 October, Aryan Khan, and others arrested in the raid, including Munmun Dhamecha and Arbaaz Merchantt were sent to NCB custody till 7 October.
The Court had ruled that the investigation was of 'prime importance' after the NCB had alleged that they found 'incriminating evidence' on Aryan Khan's phone.
Advocate Satish Manshinde had said in an earlier hearing that 'no contraband' was found in Aryan's bag. He added to Aryan's statement, "After sometime they took custody of my phone and began interrogating me. Mr Merchant is a friend of mine. He was found in possession and we were arrested.”
NCB Arrests Foreign National in Mumbai Drugs Case
The NCB, on Wednesday, had also arrested a foreign national, marking their 18th arrest in the case. The foreign national was arrested from Bandra and was allegedly found in possession of a 'commercial quantity' of mephedrone (MD), ANI reported.
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