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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • On Thursday, a Mumbai court decided to hear bail applications filed by Aryan Khan, the son of actor Shahrukh Khan, Arbaaz Merchant, and Munmun Dhamecha in connection with the seizure of drugs on a luxury cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai.
  • The Court today denied Aryan Khan and seven other suspects in the cruise ship drugs case further NCB custody and put them in judicial custody instead.

COURT’S OBSERVATION

  • R.M Nirlekar, the Additional Metropolitan Magistrate, was inclined on hearing the bail applications today itself.
  • However, ASG Anil Singh opposed the bail and petitions from the start, claiming that they were not maintainable and could not be entertained in this case.
  • Aryan Khan's lawyer, Satish Maneshinde, contended that the interim application must be decided today since it is a mandate.
  • Arbaaz Merchant's lawyer, Taraq Sayed, argued that the punishments for the offences implicated are merely six months, and so the bail applications can be examined by this Court.
  • The court subsequently determined that the bail applications would be heard the following day.
  • Because jail authorities refuse to admit the accused in the lack of a Covid report, the accused will be held in NCB custody until tomorrow.
  • The Court today rejected the request for additional NCB custody, stating that while it is without a doubt the NCB's right to seek custody for investigation, simply remanding the accused to NCB custody would be a violation of their constitutional rights.

BACKGROUND

  • On October 2, NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede led a team of officers to the Mumbai Port Trust's International Terminal, where the Cordelia Cruise ship was scheduled to leave for Goa.
  • The NCB allegedly seized intermediate and small amounts of cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), charas, and Rs 1,33,000 in cash, detaining eight people.
  • The first to be apprehended were Khan, Merchant, and Dhamecha.
  • After six and five grammes of charas were reportedly confiscated from Merchant and Dhamecha, they were booked under sections 8(c) read with 20b, 27, 28, 29, and 35 of the NDPS Act.
  • The NCB has so far detained 17 people and seized commercial quantities of drugs in the case.
  • After the cruise that was allowed to set sail following the raid returned from Goa on Monday, the agency arrested many people.
  • Ten visitors, four event organisers, two suspected suppliers, and one consumer were among those arrested. Eight people have been charged under the NDPS Act's strict section 27A for supporting illicit commerce and harbouring offenders, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
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