Mumbai

Aryan Khan was invited to cruise ship to `add glamour', says his lawyer

Aryan Khan, accused in a drug bust case, being taken from NCB office to the Killa court in Mumbai, Thursday, October 7, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, was invited to the Goa-bound cruise ship from where drugs were allegedly seized to "add glamour", and he had no connection with its organizers, his lawyer told a court on October 7.

Mr. Khan and seven other accused in the case were remanded in 14-day judicial custody by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R.M. Nerlikar, who rejected the Narcotics Control Bureau's plea for their further custody for interrogation.

While Aryan Khan, along with Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, was arrested on October 3 following a raid by the NCB on the ship off the Mumbai coast, Nupur Satija, Ishmeet Chadha, Mohak Jaiswal, Gomit Chopra and Vikrant Chhokar were arrested the following day.

Opposing the NCB's remand extension plea, Aryan Khan's lawyer Satish Maneshinde said his client was not connected with any of the other accused.

Aryan Khan was on cruise as a "VVIP guest" and "a person connected with Bollywood wanted to add glamour to the cruise and hence invited him," the lawyer claimed.

"I [Aryan] am nowhere connected with any other person in cruise, or other arrested accused. I have no connection with the organizers or the other arrested accused," advocate Maneshinde submitted.

He, however, accepted that Aryan Khan knew Arbaaz Merchant.

"He [Merchant] is my friend, I'm not denying that. But mere knowledge of a person is not enough to keep me in custody," the lawyer said.

As to the NCB's contention that it wanted to confront Aryan Khan and other accused with Achit Kumar, who was arrested later, advocate Maneshinde said the agency had accessed Aryan Khan’s WhatsApp chat "where Achit [Kumar] and I have discussed football about a year back," and "football doesn't contain any drugs." Lawyers of other accused too opposed the remand application, saying no specific role was assigned to them.

Advocate Ali Kaashif Khan, representing Munmun Dhamecha, said she was not connected to the other accused and no specific role had been assigned to her in the NCB's remand plea.

He also moved a plea seeking CCTV footage of the check-point from where she was arrested.

The NCB, seeking extension of the remand of Aryan Khan and others, had said it wanted to confront them with Achit Kumar who was arrested on October 6 and a foreign national arrested subsequently.

Mr. Kumar has been remanded to NCB custody till October 9.

The judge, after hearing all the submissions, rejected the NCB's plea and remanded Aryan Khan and seven others in judicial custody.

They will, however, be kept at the NCB office till October 8 as jails do not admit new prisoners without a negative COVID-19 test report.

Aryan Khan and other accused have filed bail pleas which will be heard on October 8.


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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 9:14:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/aryan-khan-was-invited-to-cruise-ship-to-add-glamour-says-his-lawyer/article36891425.ece

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