Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchantt and Munmun Dhamecha have been granted bail by the Bombay High Court on Thursday (October 28) in connection with the drugs raid on a cruise ship party by Narcotics Control Bureau officers in disguise. However, they will continue to stay in jail tonight as the Court will pronounce detailed orders with reasons tomorrow. The court hearing was adjourned yesterday (October 27) and a day before that too after Merchantt's lawyer and the ASG said that they would need 45 minutes each for their arguments.
During arguments on Tuesday, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi argued that Shah Rukh Khan's son is a "young man" who should be sent to rehab rather than jail.
The legal team of Aryan told the Bombay High Court that there was no evidence against him in the drugs-on-cruise case and was wrongly arrested as he distanced himself from the raging allegations of extortion attempt against NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede, who came under a fresh round of attack from Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik.
The NCB had opposed Aryan's bail plea in an affidavit filed before the HC, alleging he was not just a consumer of drugs, but also involved in illicit drug trafficking. The agency said prima facie investigation revealed that Aryan used to procure drugs from Arbaaz Merchant and was in touch with "some persons abroad who appear to be part of an international drug network". The affidavit further said though drugs were not recovered from Khan, he "participated in the conspiracy".
Aryan, Arbaaz and Munmun were earlier denied bail twice, both by a Mumbai magistrate court and special NDPS court, ever since their arrest on October 3. After bail rejection in special NDPS court, Aryan's lawyers moved a bail application in the Bombay HC against the court order. Since October 8, he has been in Mumbai's Arthur Road jail and was briefly in the custody of the NCB before that. Along with him, Merchantt is also stationed there. Whereas, Munmun is at Byculla women prison.
In another development related to the case, a special NDPS Act court had granted bail to two accused arrested, Manish Rajgaria and Avin Sahu.
On a related note, Bollywood actress Ananya Panday's name has also surfaced in certain WhatsApp chats that were presented by the probing agency during the investigation. So far, the actress has appeared for questioning before NCB twice. She was supposed to be interrogated for the third time on Monday but due to personal commitments, she could not appear to record her statement. Fresh summons will be issued to Ananya by the NCB.