The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Wednesday opposed the bail application of actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan, saying he had a role in illicit procurement and consumption of contraband and there was sufficient knowledge that he was in touch with some persons abroad who appeared to be a part of an international drug network for illicit procurement of drugs.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, for NCB, said before the special Narcotics Drugs Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act court, “This is a responsible agency in the country. Drug trafficking is a very serious concern in society. Day in and day out, youngsters consume drugs at rave parties. It is affecting the nation.”
Referring to WhatsApp chats, he stated that there was a specific reference to bulk quantity and that couldn’t be for one’s own consumption. Mr. Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant (also lodged at Arthur Road Jail) have known each other since 8-10 years and the contraband of 6 grams was found with Merchant. It was for their consumption and Mr. Khan knew of the possession. Therefore, as per the law, this would amount to conscious possession. The nature of the drugs for bulk quantity were all hard drugs. So far, 20 people have been arrested and four are drug peddlers.
He contended that this amounted to conspiracy under section 29 (punishment for abetment and criminal conspiracy) of the NDPS Act. In a conspiracy, it was not necessary that commercial or intermediate quantity needed to be recovered. It was also not necessary that all 10 must have knowledge of what the others have done. Mr. Singh will continue his arguments on October 14.
The NCB’s reply, opposing Mr. Khan’s bail, stated, “Mr. Khan has a role in illicit procurement and consumption of contraband. It is prima facie revealed that Mr. Khan used to procure contraband from Mr. Merchant and the sources connected to him from whose conscious possession six grams of charas was recovered.”
‘Let us not penalise them’
However, senior advocate Amit Desai, representing Mr. Khan, pointed out that there had been no recovery of possession of contraband found from him. He concluded his argument by saying, “They are some young kids. In many countries, these substances are legal. Let us not penalise them. Let us not make it worse for them. They have suffered enough, they have learnt their lesson, if at all. They are not peddlers, racketeers or traffickers. We, as a country, have moved into a reformative State. Where earlier the punishment for consumption was five years has been brought down to one year in 2001,”