A Mumbai court on Monday denied the petition of Aryan Khan and two others opposing extension of Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) custody and sent them in remand till October 7. The 23-year-old, son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, was arrested by the NCB after a raid at a rave party on a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai.
The court accepted NCB’s plea that Khan and his friends’ further custody is needed after the seizure of drugs from the rave party. The NCB had presented WhatsApp chats, where discussions were held about cash transactions involving drugs.
Those sent to extended custody today are Khan, his friend Arbaaz Merchant and fashion designer Munmun Dhamecha. They were arrested on Sunday after a lengthy questioning by the NCB.
Khan and his friends were produced before a local court in Mumbai on Monday afternoon after having spent one day in NCB custody. They were earlier sent for a medical checkup at Mumbai’s JJ Hospital.
During the court hearing on Monday, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh (representing the NCB) said that WhatsApp chats found in Aryan’s phone, which was seized by the NCB, “clearly shows the nexus”. “It is necessary to confront all accused in the custodial remand,” Singh pointed out, adding that the chats have code words that need to be decoded.
He also said that code words were used for peddlers which need to be decoded.
Aryan’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde opposed the NCB’s plea arguing that the NCB “cannot simply rely on WhatsApp chats” for the case and seek extension of the custody.
“I was arrested by the NCB before and not on the cruise…I was invited as a guest…I don’t have any contacts with the organisers, dealers or any other people on the cruise. Nothing has been found in my bag during search,” Aryan informed the court via Maneshinde.
“They’ve interrogated me for the last 48 hours and have found nothing. I [have]…no criminal antecedents. I have cooperated with them (NCB) so any prayer for further custody should be rejected,” Aryan’s statement to the court added.