Written by: Satyam Jain (Intern)
Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)
Son of Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan has been arrested along with 20 others onboard a Cruise on the suspicion of illegal drug trafficking and consumption. Bail pleas filed by the all the arrested individuals have been repeatedly rejected by a Mumbai Court.
Facts of the Case:
Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raided the Cordelia Cruise on October 2, 2021 on tip-offs about a party that was to take place onboard the ship. NCB officials recovered certain quantities of illegal drugs like Cannabis and Marijuana from the corners of the room, and thus, arrested all 8 people present therein. Among the arrested were Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchantt, Munmun Dhamecha and 5 other friends. Aryan Khan was arrested only on the grounds of his connections and chats with illegal drug smugglers and consumers. No such drug was found in his possession.
Timeline of the Case–
Oct. 2: Raid by NCB, 8 arrested from the Cordelia Cruise.
Oct. 3: All the arrested individuals undergo medical tests.
Oct. 4: The accused were produced in a Mumbai Court, where NCB demanded the custody of all the detained individuals till Oct 11 and, the counsel appearing for Aryan demanded freedom. The Court granted the custody of the accused to NCB till Oct 7.
Oct. 7: The Court again ruled to put Aryan Khan and 7 others to judicial custody for 14 days.
Oct. 8: Bail pleas filed by Aryan, Arbaaz and Munmun Dhamecha were rejected by the Mumbai Court.
Oct. 9: NCB raids Imtiaz Khatri’s office and residence, while Aryan Khan spends the weekend in Jail.
Oct. 11: Imtiaz was questioned by the NCB, where he denied any information relating to Aryan Khan.
Oct. 12: Imtiaz Khatri was questioned again by the NCB. Aryan’s bail plea is to be heard on Oct. 13.
Oct. 13: Aryan Khan’s bail plea was heard, where NCB claims that the Whatsapp chats revealed Aryan’s connection with drug smugglers. The bail plea was now to be heard on Oct. 14. The Nigerian model, Okaro Uzeoma was also arrested on the suspicion of illegal drug trafficking.
Oct. 14: The bail plea is being heard in the Mumbai Court with Sr. Advocate Amit Desai representing Aryan Khan and the NCB being represented by Counsel AM Chimalkar and Advait Sethna.
All such illegal drugs procurement and consumption cases are governed by the National Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985. A violation of the law may lead to a fine of Rs. 10,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. However, the law adds that consuming Bhaang is not illegal.
AN IMPORTANT ARGUMENT:
The counsel appearing for Aryan Khan, Sr. Advocate Amit Desai argued that the actual motive of the NDPS Act was not being fulfilled. It was passed to prevent the commercialization of addictive and harmful drugs. But, the small quantities of Cannabis were being portrayed as commercial quantities by the NCB. Another important argument by the Advocate was that drugs like Cannabis and Marijuana were no more illegal in many countries, such as Canada, South Africa, Netherlands, etc. The senior counsel hinted at a proposal to legalize these.