The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Wednesday, October 13, opposed the bail plea filed by Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, arrested in connection with the seizure of banned drugs on board a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast. The agency said the probe so far has revealed his role in the conspiracy and illicit procurement and consumption of drugs.
The NCB in its affidavit also said that Aryan Khan was in touch with some persons, who appear to be a part of an international drug network for procurement of drugs. Further probe is on with regard to financial transactions done abroad, the agency said. â€śDuring initial investigation, some international linkages pertinent to this applicant (Aryan Khan) have been unearthed which prima facie indicate towards illicit drug procurement. The investigation requires sufficient time so as to approach the foreign agency concerned,â€ť the affidavit said. The NCB submitted its affidavit in response to the bail plea filed by Aryan Khan before special judge V V Patil, designated to hear matters related to the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The judge is currently hearing the bail plea.
However, Aryanâ€™s counsel Amit Desai told the court that the allegation of his involvement in an international conspiracy is â€śinherently absurdâ€ť. He also said that Aryan was not on the cruise ship and that no banned substances were recovered from him. Further, he pointed out that the NCBâ€™s allegations of Aryanâ€™s involvement in an international drug ring were not specifically attributed to any of the accused, Bar and Bench reported.
The NCB also submitted in the affidavit that the case of each of the accused cannot be considered individually or separately, as prima facie investigation reveals that there is a close link/nexus among all the accused, including Aryan Khan, for conspiracy to commit offences. â€śIt is not feasible to dissect or separate each from the other. All ingredients of crime, that are preparation, intention, attempt and commission, are present for this applicant (Aryan Khan),â€ť the affidavit said.
Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3 following a raid on the Goa-bound cruise ship and is presently in judicial custody. He is lodged at the Arthur Road prison in Mumbai. He approached the special court seeking bail after a magistrate's court rejected the same last week.
â€śIt is prima facie revealed that accused No 1 (Aryan Khan) used to procure contraband from accused No 2 (Arbaaz Merchant) and the sources connected to accused No 2, from whose conscious possession six grams of charas was recovered,â€ť the NCB said in its affidavit. It further said that the material collated during investigation primarily revealed that Aryan Khan has a role in illicit procurement and distribution of the contraband.
As per investigations carried out so far, accused Aachit Kumar and Shivraj Harijan had supplied charas to Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant, the anti-drugs agency said. â€śThe role and involvement of this applicant (Aryan Khan) in the commission of grave and serious offences under the NDPS Act, including illicit drug trafficking, is apparent considering the nexus and connection of this applicant with the other accused in the case,â€ť the NCB said. â€śAll the accused are inextricably connected and hence, it is not possible to dissect the role of each accused from the other,â€ť it added. However, Bar and Bench quoted Aryan's lawyer as saying, "The Sections were mentioned in the arrest memo when I was placed under arrest. I was only arrested for Sections 27, 20(b), 28, 29, 8(c) of NDPS Act. Whatever milords will read about illicit trafficking in the reply, please bear in mind that Khan has not been arrested for 27A."
Prima facie investigation reveals a close nexus between all the accused persons and their involvement in conspiracy to commit illegal acts cannot be ruled out, the agency further said. â€śThe case of each applicant cannot be considered in isolation. All these persons are an integral part of a common thread which cannot be separated or dissected from one another. In such a situation, the quantum of recovery (of drugs) from one accused becomes inconsequential,â€ť the NCB said in the affidavit.
â€śEven though from some of the accused there is no recovery or less recovery of contraband, the participation by acts of such persons, who have acted in concert, conspiracy forms the basis of the investigation,â€ť it said. From the investigation, it is revealed that all the accused persons form a part of a "larger chain/nexus" and their involvement in the conspiracy to commit illegal acts and violations under Section 29 of the NDPS Act cannot be ruled out, the affidavit said.
Section 29 of the NDPS Act pertains to abetment to commit an offence or criminal conspiracy.
The NCB further said there have been several seizures of intermediary quantities of drugs from Aryan Khan's co-accused and there has also been seizure of commercial quantities of Mephedrone from one accused Abdul Sheikh.
It said the allegations that the accused have been falsely implicated are untrue and misleading, as there is sufficient material in the form of WhatsApp chats and photographs which show the ingredients of conspiracy.
â€śConsidering the influence that Aryan Khan holds in the society, it is very much possible that he may tamper with evidence and influence other witnesses whom he personally knows,â€ť the affidavit said, adding there is also a possibility of the accused fleeing justice.
The court is also hearing the bail pleas filed by Arbaaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Nupur Satija, Aachit Kumar, Mohak Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer and Avin Sahu. So far, 20 people have been arrested in the case.