The Bombay High Court granted bail to Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan and two other co-accused Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, in the cruise ship drug case subject to thirteen conditions (Aryan Shahrukh Khan v. Union of India).
The NCB arrested these three – along with 20 others (who were arrested on different dates) – on October 3. This followed a raid the agency conducted on a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai.
Aryan Khan’s release was ordered by the Bombay high court on Thursday, after his earlier petitions seeking bail were rejected, first by sessions court and then by the special NDPS court. A battery of lawyers, including former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, was roped in by Shah Rukh Khan to get his son out of jail.
The High Court had on Wednesday evening, allowed the bail plea filed by Khan, Merchant and Dhamecha in the cruise ship drug case. Single-judge Justice Nitin Sambre had, however, said that he will deliver order setting out the bail conditions today.
Arguments Before the Court
Arguing for the NCB, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh has maintained that Aryan Khan is part of a larger ‘conspiracy’ related to drugs. Addressing the charge that Aryan Khan was aware of the drugs allegedly being carried by his friend Arbaaz Merchant, lawyer Mukul Rohatgi said, “There is no possession. We [Aryan and Arbaaz] were together but I [Aryan] did not know what he was carrying.”
The following are the conditions imposed by single-judge Justice Nitin Sambre.
- Furnish personal bond of ₹1 lakh and one or more sureties in the like amount;
- Should not leave the country without permission from special judge for Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act (NDPS Act) at Greater Mumbai;
- Should not leave Greater Mumbai without informing the investigating officer (IO) and should give itinerary of travel to IO;
- Should not indulge in similar activities;
- Should not try to establish communication with co-accused or any person involved in similar activities;
- Should not undertake any action which is prejudicial to the trial / proceedings before the special court;
- Should not attempt to influence witnesses or tamper with evidence;
- Should surrender passport before special court;
- Should not make any statement to media about the case;
- Attend office of Narcotics Control Bureau every Friday between 11 am and 2 pm to mark their presence;
- Should attend court on all dates;
- Should join investigation as and when called upon to do so before NCB authorities’
- Should not delay trial.
If any of the conditions are violated, NCB would be entitled to apply to the special court for cancellation of bail, the High Court made it clear.
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