The Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) told the Special NDPS Court that Aachit Kumar (22) was Aryan Khan’s illicit drugs supplier and the agency wasn’t “loosely” calling him a peddler.
Opposing his bail application, the agency submitted WhatApp chats between Khan and Aachit to assert that their case was not only based on ‘voluntary’ statements under section 67 of the NDPS Act, and they had material to corroborate their claims.
“He(Kumar) has put up a very fine smokescreen of innocence. But with all his arguments… He has already argued a case as if on trial…It cannot be a mere coincidence that you (Aachit) are expressing yourself in a particular manner when contraband, drug and bulk quantity is involved,” SPP Advait Sethna for NCB argued.
He said a chain of conversations cannot be brushed aside as children doing light banter. “One is so callous then one has to bear the consequences of law,” he added.
The agency had arrested Kumar on 6 October after Khan allegedly named him in his voluntary statement. While 2.6gms (small quantity) of ganja was seize from his residence, Kumar alleged the panchnama riddled with faseties and CCTV footage belies the NCB’s claims.
Kumar’s counsel contended that he knew Khan only socially and had no contact with him in over a year. Moreover, he was studying at a reputed university in London and was stuck in India because of the lockdown.
On 21 October, Sethna argued that Kumar’s illegal arrest or detention allegations could not be looked into at this stage and is a matter of trial.
“Even assuming for a moment that Aachit’s claims of illegal arrest is right, at the moment they are just assertions that need to be proved by leading evidence. If all this will be considered now what is the difference between stage of bail and trial?” he said.
“Evidence during trial and bail are two different matters, and the court cannot go into a roving inquiry to grant bail.” he argued.
Sethna submitted that the NDPS Act has an element of vicarious libility.
“Can one say my role is very small, I am only a consumer? Section 8(c) of NDPS has an element of vicarious liability. Therefore it is impossible to say one stands on a better footing and the other doesn’t. “
Regarding bail arguments by another accused – Avin Sahu – who said his case was on a better footing than Aryan because NCB recovered no WhatsApp chats from him, Sethna said.
“Initially, everyone wanted to equate their case with Aryan Khan.. now they say I am not connected with Aryan Khan, and Munmun… The reason is obvious because their bails are rejected.”
Sethna told the court on Friday that the word ‘peddler’ was not used by the agency loosely and that he was the common supplier to both Aryan and Arbaa.
On 20 October, co-accused Manish Rajgarhia’s advocate Taraq Sayed had disputed the recovery of 2.4 grams of ganja from him after the cruise returned to Mumbai on 4 October.
Relying on the panchnama, he claimed that the security handed over some contraband to NCB officers without specifying where it came from.
Sethna relied on Rajgaria’s voluntary statement and the security guard’s statement to specify the source of the contraband.
Sethan argued that today accused in the case seeking bail were arguing as if consumption was a mitigating factor for bail.
“Here it is as if consumption is a mitigating factor. That I should get immunity because I am a consumer. That’s not how the law is. All offences are non-bailable according to Rhea Chakraborty’s judgement.”
“There is nothing to shy away from. Our case is of a common thread and conspiracy. That the accused are inextricably connected. If we are wrong, the courts are there,” he said.