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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • In the cruise ship drug case, a Special NDPS court in Mumbai denied bail to Aryan Khan, son of star Shahrukh Khan, Arbaaz Merchant, and Munmun Dhamecha on Wednesday.
  • The order was issued by Special Judge VV Patil.

DETAILS

  • A special court noted in its detailed ruling dismissing the bail motion of Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, that his companion who was travelling with him was found with contraband and he had knowledge of it, which amounted to 'conscious possession.'
  • Arbaaz Merchant and Aryan were apprehended together on October 2 at the international cruise terminal, where they were scheduled to embark the trip.
  • While no drugs were discovered in Aryan's possession, six grammes of charas were purportedly discovered in Merchant's possession. The court also relied on their voluntary declarations, in which they allegedly stated that they planned to consume the contraband on the cruise together.
  • “In the present case, although no possession is found from accused number 1 (Aryan), six grams of charas was found from accused number 2 (Merchant) of which Aryan had the knowledge and thus it can be said that it was in conscious possession of both the accused,” the court said.
  • The court also used WhatsApp messages that had been submitted to it.
  • While Merchant's counsel contended that because there was no panchanama to indicate that the phones were confiscated, the court ruled that a certificate under the Indian Evidence Act was not required at this level of the investigation. It also agreed with the NCB's claim that Merchant and Aryan had voluntarily surrendered their phones.
  • According to the report, the discussions revealed a link between the accused and suppliers and peddlers. The court also stated that, despite Aryan's lack of prior criminal history, his discussions reveal that he is engaged in "illicit drug activities."
  • While the defence lawyers claimed there was no evidence linking Aryan to the other people detained in the case, the court found that all of the defendants are "linked in the same thread" and that there is prima facie evidence that they are part of a "larger network." It was stated that at this point, the roles of the accused cannot be separated. It also stated that there was a possibility of evidence tampering.
  • What is bail? On what grounds can bail be refused? Can bail granted be challenged?
  • Do you agree with the Judgment?

Let us know in the comments below!

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