The intensely followed Aryan Khan drugs case will be in court once again today after the Bombay High Court adjourned the hearing of bail petitions filed by him, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, in connection with their arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 3, after the agency busted a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai and seized several banned narcotics on October 2.
Former Attorney General of India (AGI) Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, along with his existing legal counsel comprising Satish Manishinde and Amit Desai.
Rohatgi, who recently slammed the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and compared the agency to "an Ostrich with head buried in the sand", told the court on Tuesday that the drugs-on-cruise case has attracted 'unwanted media attention', since it involves Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan. He closed his arguments by saying that the “case is for bail".
Rohatgi also said that none of the charges against his client Aryan Khan, be it conscious possession or consumption can be levied against the 23-year-old. He has also said that if someone is caught in India with small portion of banned substances, then they are safe from prosecution if they go to a rehabilitation centre.
He also stated that Aryan Khan had nothing to do with the allegations made against Sameer Wankhede, after NCB filed a reply to Aryan Khan's bail petition, suggesting that Shah Rukh Khan's manager Pooja Dadlani influenced a Panch witness in the case.
The 23-year-old has been lodged at the Arthur Road jail ever since October 8. Aryan Khan was first taken into NCB custody for interrogation, but on October 7, a Mumbai court refused NCB's request for a further extension of custody and sentenced Aryan Khan to 14-day judicial remand. So far, all of his bail requests have been denied, and last week, a special NDPS court had rejected his bail petition.
Here's a look at the timeline of events in the Aryan Khan drugs case so far:
Oct 2: A Cordelia cruise from Mumbai to Goa was raided by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) where they seized 13 gms of cocaine, 5 grams mephedrone, 21 grams charas and 22 pills of MDMA or Ecstasy, and detained several people including a ‘Bollywood megastar’s son’
Oct 3: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan gets arrested along with his friends Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha. After undergoing tests, the accused were produced in front of the magistrate, who sent them to a one-day NCB remand.
Oct 4: In front of the magistrate, the NCB claimed to have discovered texts on Aryan Khan’s phone pointing to international drug trafficking. The court allows NCB to keep the accused under their remand for three days till October 7.
Oct 7: Court denies further custody sought by the agency and says grounds cited for further custody are vague. Simply remanding them in custody would amount to a violation of their fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution. Remands them in judicial custody. Aryan seeks bail.
Oct 8: Magistrate rejects bail plea of Aryan, Arbaaz and Munmun. Says plea not maintainable before it.
Oct 9: Aryan seeks bail before a holiday sessions court. Says he is falsely implicated and that no drugs were recovered from him, as also admitted by the NCB.
Oct 11: His advocates seek an urgent hearing of his bail plea. NCB asks for more time in filing their reply to the bail application. Court asks NCB to reply on Oct 13.
Oct 13: Special NDPS court hears the bail petition, postpones it till the next day.
Oct 14: Special court reserves its order regarding the bail plea till October 20.
Oct 20: Special NDPS court rejects Aryan Khan’s bail plea, releasing an 18-page order stating that there is evidence against actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan which suggest that “shows the nexus of the applicant/accused no.1 (Aryan Khan) with suppliers and peddlers”.
Oct 21: The legal counsel for Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan informed that the Bombay High Court will hear the bail petition of Aryan Khan in the drugs-on-cruise, on October 26. In his petition Aryan Khan said that Narcotics Control Bureau's "interpretation and misinterpretation" of the WhatsApp chats collected from his mobile phone was "wrong and unjustified".