Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan was finally, after multiple hearings, granted bail by the Bombay High Court on Thursday.
He was detained by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NC), after the agency busted a drug party on a cruise ship, and recovered drugs like hashish, cocaine and MD, on October 2. The 23-year-old was detained along with Munmun Dhamecha, Nupur Sarika, Ismeet Singh, Mohak Jaswal, Vikrant Chhoker, Gomit Chopra, and Arbaaz Merchant.
He was arrested the next day, and was booked under sections 8C, 20B, 27 and 35 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Over the course of multiple hearings, NCB’s legal counsel, led by Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, has argued that the evidence they have gathered points towards the fact that Aryan Khan has been a “regular user of contraband” for years, and that the WhatsApp chats discovered point towards evidences of international drug trafficking.
Aryan Khan’s counsel, which was initially led by Satish Manishinde, then by Amit Desai and later former Attorey General Mukhul Rohatgi, have argued that the agency has no case against him, since nothing was recovered from him.
Here’s an entire timeline of the events over the last two weeks, starting from the fateful night on October 2.
Oct 2: A Cordelia cruise Mumbai to Goa was raided by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) where they seized 13 gms of cocaine, 5 grams mephedrone, 21 grams charas and 22 pills of MDMA or Ecstasy, and detained several people including a ‘Bollywood megastar’s son’
Oct 3: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan arrested along with his friend Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha. After gundergoing tests, the accused were produced infront of the magistrate, who sent them to a one-day NCB remand.
Oct 4: Infront of the magistrate, the NCB claimed to have discovered texts on Aryan Khan’s phone pointing to international drug trafficking. Court allows NCB to keep the accused under their remand for three days till October 7.
Oct 7: Court denies further custody sought by the agency and says grounds cited for further custody are vague. Simply remanding them in custody would amount to violation of their fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution. Remands them in judicial custody. Aryan seeks bail.
Oct 8: Magistrate rejects bail plea of Aryan, Arbaaz and Munmun. Says plea not maintainable before it.
Oct 9: Aryan seeks bail before a holiday sessions court. Says he is falsely implicated and that no drugs were recovered from him, as also admitted by the NCB.
Oct 11: His advocates seek an urgent hearing of his bail plea. NCB asks for more time in filing their reply to the bail application. Court asks NCB to reply on Oct 13.
Oct 13: Special NDPS court hears the bail petition, postpones it till the next day.
Oct 14: Special NDPS court reserves its order regarding the bail plea till October 20.
Oct 20: Special NDPS court rejects Aryan Khan’s bail plea, releasing an 18-page order stating that there is evidence against actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan which suggest that “shows the nexus of the applicant/accused no.1 (Aryan Khan) with suppliers and peddlers”.
Oct 21: The legal counsel for Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan informed that the Bombay High Court will hear the bail petition of Aryan Khan in the drugs-on-cruise, on October 26. In his petition Aryan Khan said that Narcotics Control Bureau's "interpretation and misinterpretation" of the WhatsApp chats collected from his mobile phone was "wrong and unjustified".
Oct 26: Bombay High Court hears to the bail petitions filed by Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha. Mukul Rohatgi, Former Attorney General represents Aryan Khan along with Satish Manishinde and Amit Desai. Rohatgi argues that the NCB arrest of his client was “illegal. High Court adjourns the hearing till next day.
Oct 27: Advocate Amit Desai presented his arguments, representing Arbaaz Merchant. Desai argued that Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha should have been served a notice under section 41(a) which would have asked them show up to the agency for investigation, and shouldn’t have been arrested.
Oct 28: NCB’s legal counsel headed by Additional Solicitor General, Anil Singh replied to the arguments listed in the court by the defence. Singh made a ‘threefold’ submission and said that Aryan Khan was found in conscious possession, was connected with drug peddlers and the arrest remains valid, since the lapse between remand and arrest was only for four hours. Court granted bail to all three. However, it also said that it would release the bail order and the conditions for bail next day.