Aryan Khan gets clean chit in Mumbai ‘drugs-on-cruise’ case

Mr. Aryan Khan was arrested in October 2021 and was in custody for over three weeks.

May 27, 2022 02:09 pm | Updated May 28, 2022 01:06 am IST - Mumbai

A file photo of Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan.

A file photo of Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) filed its charge sheet before a special court in Mumbai on Friday and has not named actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan, 23, in the drug racket case. Mr. Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3, 2021 and was in custody for over three weeks.

As per a press note released by the agency, “All accused were found in possession of narcotics except Aryan (Khan) and Mohak. The touchstone of the principle of proof beyond reasonable doubt has been applied. Based on which a complaint has been filed against 14 accused and a complaint against six (including Aryan Khan) is not filed due to lack of sufficient evidence.” The 6000-page charge sheet named Arbaaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha and 12 others. Mr. Aryan Khan and five others have not been named.

On March 28, the agency filed an application before the special Narcotics Drugs Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act court, seeking more time to file a charge sheet in the drug case busted on October 2 when 13 grams of cocaine, five grams of MD (mephedrone), 21 grams of charas, 22 pills of MDMA and ₹1,33,000 cash were seized at the International Cruise Terminal, Mumbai.

Case goes to SIT

The case was transferred to a special investigation team (SIT) on November 6, 2021, and on March 2, its chief Sanjay Singh said it was highly premature to say that there was no evidence against Mr. Aryan Khan in the case.

At a press conference, NCB Director General S.N. Pradhan said the SIT went by the principle of “beyond reasonble doubt”, based on which there was not sufficient evidence against six of the 20 accused persons. Therefore, the charge sheet was filed against 14 others within the stipulated time period. A supplementary one would be submitted in case the probe team came across any further evidence.

The SIT took over the case as it was becoming controversial and the organisation’s reputation was at stake. There were serious loopholes in the initial probe, which was carried out under the supervision of then Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede. The SIT conducted an objective investigation into all the aspects of the case, he stated.

On October 28, the Bombay High Court granted bail to Mr. Aryan Khan and two others after he was arrested on October 3. It directed that they be released from the Arthur Road Jail after executing a cash bond of ₹1 lakh with one or more sureties.

Mr. Aryan Khan, along with eight others, has been charged with sections 8 (c) - prohibition to produce, manufacture, possess, sell, purchase, transport, warehouse, use, consume, import inter-State, export inter-State, import into India, export from India or tranship any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance, 20 (b) - punishment for contravention in relation to cannabis plant and cannabis produces, manufactures, possesses, sells, purchases, transports, imports inter-State, exports inter-State or uses cannabis, 27 - punishment for consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance, 28 - punishment for attempts to commit offences and 29 - punishment for abetment and criminal conspiracy read with 35 - presumption of culpable mental state of the NDPS Act.

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