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The Bombay High Court has granted bail to Aryan Khan in connection with the alleged cruise ship drug case.

Justice NW Sambre also allowed bail to his friends and co-accused in the matter, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha.

Detailed order with reasons is likely to be released tomorrow.

Bail was granted after hearing Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi for Aryan Khan and ASG Anil Singh for the Narcotics Control Bureau.

The Bench also heard Senior Advocate Amit Desai for Arbaaz Merchant and Advocate Kashiff Ali for Munmun Dhamecha.

The NCB had arrested the trio on October 3 following a raid at the international cruise terminal the previous day. They had moved the High Court after rejection of bail by the Special NDPS Court, on October 20.

NCB has alleged that the accused are part of a larger conspiracy, Khan has international links and thus required for further interrogation to unearth the truth.

The agency further alleged that Khan is an influential person and attempts have already been made to influence witnesses and tamper with evidence.

Aryan Khan’s case
It was argued on behalf of Aryan Khan, represented by Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, that his arrest was made in sheer violation of Article 22 of the Constitution, inasmuch as he was not informed about the correct grounds for



arrest.

Khan also denied allegations of “conscious possession” of contraband which was recovered from his friend Arbaaz (6gms charas), saying, ” There was no recovery from me. Though I say I was not aware what he was carrying. But what is being put on me is commercial quality through conspiracy… Their case is if it is not a coincidence, but a conspiracy. There has to be meeting of minds. Say a telephone call between all 8 (accused). So apart from Arbaaz, none of these chaps have anything to do with me.“

On his connection with Aachit Kumar, an alleged drug peddler, Rohatgi submitted on behalf of Khan.

“Aachit was arrested with 2.4 gms. Dealers cannot have just 2.4 gms.“

He added that it’s a clear case of no possession, no consumption and no recovery of drugs.

Rohatgi also submitted that none of the WhatsApp chats recovered from Khan’s phone relate to the cruise party. It is further argued that WhatsApp messages have no evidentiary value and a person’s liberty for an offence punishable with one year cannot be deprived on such basis.

It was also contended that NCB’s case relies heavily on “voluntary” statements given under Section 67 of the NDPS Act, which are inadmissible in evidence as per last year’s Supreme Court judgment in the Tofan Singh case.

All three accused also denied allegation of conspiracy under Section 29 of NDPS Act.
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