'Arrest Should Be Exception': 14 Arguments in Bail Hearing of Aryan Khan, Others

The bail hearing for Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchantt,, Munmun Dhamecha in the NCB drugs case was adjourned to Thursday.

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After Aryan Khan’s lawyer Mukul Rohatgi made the arguments for bail on Tuesday, the advocates for others accused in the case Arbaaz Merchantt and Munmun Dhamecha presented their arguments on Wednesday.

Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchantt, and Munmun Dhamecha were arrested during the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) cruise ship raid. While Aryan’s lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, on Tuesday, had argued that Aryan can’t be charged for conscious possession either, the advocate Desai for Arbaaz argued their arrest is illegal and advocate Ali Kashiff for Munmun stated that the case against her is ‘bogus’.

Here is a rundown of the main arguments during the bail hearing:

  • Advocate Amit Desai, for Arbaaz, argued that his client along with Aryan and Munmun, was charged for possession of small quantities and consumption.

  • Desai claimed that the arrest in the case is illegal and substantiated his claim by citing the Supreme Court judgment in the Arnesh Kumar case wherein the Court noted that arrest must be an exception in minor offences.

  • Desai further argued that the three accused were apprehended individually and that would incur a punishment for one year. Desai said in Court, “Especially when the offences alleged are punishable with less than one year. A notice under section 41a of the CrPC should have been issued, asking them to join the investigation.”

  • After citing a Andhra Pradesh High Court judgment that section 41a will apply to the NDPS act, Desai argued that the accused should be released on bail since they weren’t given a notice under CrPC section 41a.

  • Desai argued the panchnama “demolishes the case of conspiracy” and said that there is no mention of ‘use’ defined under the NDPS act against the three- Aryan, Arbaaz, and Munmun. During earlier hearings, the NCB had asked for extended custody of the accused alleging a conspiracy and a drug ‘nexus’.

  • Advocate Desai stated that intention to consume also shouldn’t apply in the case since ‘no medical test was done.’

  • A special NDPS court granted bail to two cruise ship guests Manish Rajgaria and Avin Sahu on Tuesday. Advocate Desai cited the same during Wednesday’s hearing informing the court that the bail pleas filed for Arbaaz and others is the same as Rajgaria and Sahu.

  • On Justice Sambre inquiring if contraband was seized from them, Desai informed that 2.4gms of ganja was recovered from one of the two. “They had come independently. I am not saying parity but I am saying liberty,” Desai added.

  • Citing a Bombay HC ruling that mandated a ‘meeting of minds’ to prove conspiracy, Desai said that ‘three people individually going on a vessel and deciding to consume’ doesn’t amount to conspiracy.

  • Desai further argued that there are no WhatsApp chats that indicate conspiracy related to the rave party. He also argued that the WhatsApp chats should be considered inadmissible in court without a section 65B (in the Indian Evidence Act) certificate.

  • Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, for Aryan Khan, said that the arrest memo didn’t give ‘true and correct’ grounds for arrest, adding that the Article 22 of the Indian Constitution is more important that the CrPC section 50.

  • Rohatgi alleged that the remand application misleads one into believing that large quantities were obtained from Aryan Khan when nothing was found in his possession.

  • Munmun Dhamecha, through advocate Ali Kashiff, argued that she was in a room with Somiya and Baldev during the NCB raid. She further alleged that the rolling paper was found on Somiya, and her personal search yielded nothing. However, Somiya and Baldev were allowed to go.

  • Kashiff argued that Munmun has no connection with anyone and the case against her is of ‘conscious possession’ and she never consumed any drugs.

The bail hearing for Aryan Khan and others was adjourned for Thursday. ASG Anil Singh will make his arguments on behalf of NCB on Thursday.

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