Raid on cruise ship: SRK’s son Aryan Khan, seven others in NCB custody till Oct 7

NCB had sought custody of the accused till October 11. It had also said that ‘shocking, incriminating material’ was found on Aryan’s phone, and further probe was required to unravel more details.

A local court on Monday extended till October 7 the NCB remand of Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan and seven others, who had been arrested following Saturday night’s raid on a cruise ship off Mumbai coast.

Aryan and the seven other accused — Arbaaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Nupur Sarika, Ismeet Singh, Mohak Jaswal, Vikrant Chhoker and Gomit Chopra — were produced in court on Monday.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R M Nerlikar sent the accused to custody, stating that their further presence before the NCB was necessary for the purpose of the investigation.

“The fact is that the co-accused in the case were found in possession of intermediate drugs and these three accused (Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha) were accompanying them. Investigation is of prime importance and presence of the accused is needed for detailed investigation. It is useful for both the prosecution and the accused to prove their innocence,” the court said.

NCB had sought custody of the accused till October 11. It had also said that ‘shocking, incriminating material’ was found on Aryan’s phone, and further probe was required to unravel more details.

Lawyer Satish Maneshinde, appearing for Aryan, however, argued that no substance seized from his client was in contravention of the NDPS Act. “If any substance is seized from any other person (co-accused), that doesn’t leave any ground to take my client into custody,” he said. He further said that Aryan had shown good conduct by not running away from NCB officers when the raid was being conducted and  allowed them to search him.

“Nothing incriminating was recovered from Aryan Khan except his mobile phone. His friend (Merchant) was arrested because he had six grams of charas, but that has nothing to do with my client (Aryan Khan),” Maneshinde argued.

“During the entire period of his (Aryan) stay abroad, he has not been involved in any trafficking, supply or distribution of drugs,” he added.

After hearing all the arguments, the court extended custody for the accused till October 7.

Earlier, the magistrate also sought to know from the NCB how much drug seizure was made from each of the accused.

To this, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the NCB, said six grams of charas was seized from Merchant, while five grams of cannabis was recovered from Dhamecha. All these are considered as “small quantity” under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS).

“From the other accused, we recovered five grams of MDMA (a stimulant drug). Ten grams of cocaine was recovered from from Vikrant Chhokar, 14 MDMA pills from Ishmeet Singh, four pills of MDMA and 3 grams of cocaine from Gomit Chopra and four MDMA pills from Nupur Satija. No recovery was made from Mohak Jaiswal, but he had provided the MDMA pills to Nupur Satija,” Singh told the court.

He added that incriminating material was found through WhatsApp chats of the arrested accused, including Aryan Khan, with drug peddlers and suppliers.

“Raids are going on now. Shocking and incriminating material recovered in WhatsApp chats of the accused shows international drug trafficking. Accused Aryan Khan, in the WhatsApp chats, is discussing modes of payment to be done for procurement (of drugs). Several code names are being used. All the accused persons have to be confronted with each other. The international transactions need to be investigated,” he said.

Singh added that the NCB has arrested a supplier from suburban Juhu and found commercial quantity of drugs on him.

Shashi Tharoor, Bollywood personalities come out in support of SRK

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday said he is repelled by the “ghoulish epicaricacy” of those “witch-hunting” actor Shah Rukh Khan over his son’s arrest, and urged people to have empathy in the matter.

Tharoor said, “I am no fan of recreational drugs & haven’t ever tried any, but I am repelled by the ghoulish epicaricacy displayed by those now witch-hunting @iamsrk on his son’s arrest.”

“Have some empathy, folks. The public glare is bad enough; no need to gleefully rub a 23yr old’s face in it,” the Lok Sabha MP said.

Bollywood personalities like filmmaker Hansal Mehta, and actors Pooja Bhatt and Suchitra Krishnamoorthi also expressed their solidarity with Shah Rukh Khan.

Mehta took to Twitter and wrote that it was “painful” when people arrive at judgements on children, adding he stands with Shah Rukh during the difficult time.

“It is painful for a parent having to deal with a child getting into trouble. It gets compounded when people begin to arrive at judgements before the law takes its course. It is disrespectful and unfair to the parent and to the parent-child relationship. With you @iamsrk,” he wrote.

Bhatt, who worked with Shah Rukh in the 1996 film “Chaahat”, took to Twitter late Sunday evening and wrote, “I stand in solidarity with you @iamsrk Not that you need it. But I do. This too, shall pass.”

(With inputs from ENS & agencies)

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