The Bombay High Court released a detailed order granting bail to actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan and two others in the drugs-on-cruise case. The court said that it had not found any prima facie positive evidence against the accused to show that they had conspired to commit an offence.
A single bench of Justice NW Sambre had on 28 October granted bail to Aryan Khan, his friend Arbaaz Merchant and model Munmun Dhamecha in the case on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each. A detailed copy of the order was made available today.
The Bombay High Court said that perusal of the WhatsApp chats extracted from the phone of Aryan Khan shows that nothing objectionable was noticed to suggest that he, Arbaaz and Munmun along with other accused in the case have hatched a conspiracy to commit the offence in question.
In its order following the grant of bail to Aryan and others, the court said: “Merely because of Applicants were travelling on the cruise, that by itself cannot be termed as (a) satisfying foundation for invoking provisions of Section 29 (conspiracy) against the Applicants — Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha.”
Justice Nitin Sambre said, “After having gone through the Whatsapp chats extracted from (Aryan Khan’s) phone, nothing objectionable could be noticed to suggest that — he and Arbaaz — or all three applicants along with other accused persons in (the) agreement have (a) meeting of minds and have hatched conspiracy committing the offence in question.”
The fact that Aryan Khan was not found in possession of any objectionable substance is not in dispute, the Bombay High Court said in its 14-page order.
The court said that the “quantity of drugs, which was seized from the possession of (Arbaaz and Munmun), if independently considered, is a small quantity, is not disputed fact.”
“There is hardly any positive evidence on record to convince this court that all the accused persons with common intention agreed to commit unlawful acts,” the court said while rejecting the Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) argument.
Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha were arrested by the NCB on 3 October and were booked under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Aryan Khan had walked out of the Arthur Road jail on 30 October after getting bail the previous day. As per the bail conditions imposed by the Bombay High Court, he is required to appear before the NCB office in south Mumbai every Friday to mark his presence.