Aryan (23), arrested with a few others on October 3 after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raided a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast and claimed to have seized drugs including charas, has now moved the Bombay high court.
Live updates: Drugs-on-cruise case
Making strong observations while rejecting the bail plea, a special NDPS court in its 21-page order noted that Aryan regularly indulged in illicit drug activities and was in touch with drug peddlers.
Here are the key observations made by the court:
*The court noted that WhatsApp chats of Aryan Khan prima facie revealed that he was “dealing in illicit drug activities on a regular basis” and therefore it cannot be said that he was not likely to commit a similar offense if released on bail.
* It held that Aryan knew that his friend and co-accused Arbaaz Merchant was in possession of drugs, and hence there was “conscious possession” even though the NCB had not found any drugs on Aryan himself.
* “Considering the prima facie involvement of the applicants/accused No 1 to 3 (Aryan Khan, Merchant and Dhamecha) in commission of grave and serious offence, this is not a fit case for granting bail,” the judge said in the order.
* Case papers and voluntary statements of Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant disclosed that they possessed drugs for consumption and enjoyment, the court noted.
* “These things go to show that accused No 1 (Aryan) was having knowledge of the contraband concealed by accused No 2 (Merchant) in his shoes,” it said.
* “Although no contraband is found in the possession of accused No 1, six grams of charas was found in possession of accused No 2 of which accused No 1 (Aryan) was having knowledge and thus it can be said that it was in conscious possession of both the accused,” the court added.
* In Aryan’s WhatsApp chats, there is reference to “bulk quantity and hard drugs” and “there is prima facie material showing that accused No 1 was in contact with persons dealing in prohibited narcotic substances,” the order said.
* “Prima facie it appears that there is a case of conspiracy and abetment as alleged by the prosecution,” it said.
Khan, Merchant and Dhamecha were among a group of people who were arrested by NCB on October 3 for alleged conspiracy, possession, consumption, purchase and trafficking of drugs under the NDPS Act.
They are now in judicial custody.
While Aryan and Merchant are lodged at the Arthur Road prison, Dhamecha is lodged at the Byculla women’s prison in Mumbai.
Aryan Khan and the others have been booked for offenses under Sections 8(c), 20(b), 27, 28, 29 and 35 of the NDPS Act.
Aryan had in his bail plea said the NCB’s contention that he was involved in conspiracy and illicit drug trafficking was absurd, and pointed out that there was no recovery of drugs made from him.
So far, 20 people have been arrested in the case.
(With inputs from PTI)