Mumbai: A metropolitan magistrate court rejected bail applications of Aryan Khan and two others in the case regarding alleged seizure of narcotic drugs from a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R M Nerlikar stated that the petitions filed by Aryan Khan, Munmun Dhamecha and Arbaaz Merchant were ‘not maintainable’. Coincidentally, the order came on Aryan’s mother Gauri Khan’s 51st birthday.
The applicants, along with five others were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau on Sunday following a raid on Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea on Saturday night. The court had rejected the NCB’s request for further custody of Aryan and seven others on Thursday, and instead sent them to 14-day judicial custody.
The Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh, appearing for the NCB, opposed the bail pleas, and argued that a magistrate has no jurisdiction to hear these applications, noting that cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, all matters should be heard by a special court. He also claimed that WhatsApp chats between Aryan Khan and co-accused Anchit Kumar were not about ‘football’ but referred to ‘bulk quantities’, and if released on bail, Khan might tamper with evidence as he is from an influential family.
Khan’s lawyer Advocate Satish Maneshinde argued on Friday that the magistrate’s court has inherent power to decide bail applications and its role was not restricted to only remanding accused in custody. He also said that Khan was a ’23-year-old with no prior antecedents’. Advocate Taraq Sayed, representing Arbaaz Merchant, contended that the NCB had allegedly recovered only 6 gm of charas from him, and he was not connected with any of the other accused.
The court rejected the bail pleas after hearing the submissions, only saying that they were ‘not maintainable’. As of now, a total of 18 persons have been arrested in the case. The court on Friday also remanded Nigerian national Chinedu Igwe, the latest person to be arrested, in the NCB’s custody till October 11.