Former Attorney General of India (AGI) Mukul Rohatgi will appear for Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan's bail plea in the Bombay High Court, on Tuesday. According to reports, Rohatgi, who recently slammed the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and compared the agency to "an Ostrich with head buried in the sand", will join the 23-year-old’s existing team of lawyers. Besides Rohatgi, Aryan Khan's legal counsel comprises senior lawyers Amit Desai and Satish Maneshinde.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s eldest son Aryan Khan will appear in the Bombay High Court today, as the court will hear the bail petition filed by him, following his arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 3, after the agency busted a cruise shop off the coast of Mumbai and seized several banned narcotics on October 2.
The 23-year-old has been lodged at the Arthur Road jail ever since October 8. Khan was first taken into NCB custody for interrogation, but on October 7, a Mumbai court refused NCB's request for a further extension of custody and sentenced Aryan Khan to 14-day judicial remand. So far, all of his bail requests have been denied, and last week, a special NDPS court had rejected his bail petition.
He was allotted with prisoner number N 956 at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai, on October 14, after he tested negative for Covid-19, and was moved to the under-trial barracks in the jail.
There have been several twists and turns in the case, which has also seen the 22-year-old actress Ananya Panday, a close friend of Aryan Khan’s sister Suhana Khan, appear before the NCB, twice, for questioning. She was also supposed to appear before the agency on Monday, however her plea seeking a new date was accepted by the agency, and she will now be issued fresh summons by the agency, to appear before them.
Meanwhile, NCB, on Monday, ordered a vigilance inquiry into the claims made by a witness in the cruise drugs case of an extortion bid of Rs 25 crore by some agency officials, including its Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede, and others for letting off accused Aryan Khan, son of actor Shah Rukh Khan.
Prabhakar Sail, an independent witness in the cruise drugs case, had on Sunday claimed in an affidavit and in subsequent interactions with reporters in Mumbai that Rs 25 crore was demanded by an NCB official and some other people linked to the case to let off Aryan from this investigation.
Wankhede landed in the national capital late on Monday night. He told reporters outside the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport that he has come to Delhi for "some work" and has "not been summoned". Dismissing all allegations against him as "baseless", he said he conducted a fair probe in the cruise drugs case and that he stands by it 100 per cent.
Here's a look at the timeline of events that have happened so far:
Oct 2: A Cordelia cruise from 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 gets arrested along with his friends Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha. After undergoing tests, the accused were produced in front of the magistrate, who sent them to a one-day NCB remand.
Oct 4: In front of the magistrate, the NCB claimed to have discovered texts on Aryan Khan’s phone pointing to international drug trafficking. The 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 a 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 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 which “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".
(With PTI inputs)