>

Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan denied bail in drug case

Nithin Belle/Mumbai
Filed on October 4, 2021
Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan is being escorted by law enforcement officials outside the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) office in Mumbai. Photo: AFP

The actor's son, who allegedly confessed to addiction for the past 4 years, remanded in custody until Thursday

Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan, was sent to the custody of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) till Thursday by a court in Mumbai on Monday.

The NCB had sought custody of Aryan, 23, till October 11 to ensure that it is able to trace those who financed and supplied the drugs.

NCB sources told media persons that Aryan broke down during the interrogation.

He also reportedly admitted that he had been consuming drugs over the last four years.

The NCB authorities have found incriminating materials in Aryan’s mobile phone such as pictures and chats, which revealed links with international drug traffickers.

Aryan was detained by the NCB on Saturday (October 2) from a luxury cruise ship in Mumbai, where he was allegedly present at a rave party, where prohibited drugs such as hashish, cocaine and ecstasy did the rounds.

The NCB team boarded the vessel and arrested Aryan and seven others, including his close friend Arbaaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Ismeet Singh, Mohak Jaswal, Gomit Chopra, Nupur Sarika and Vikrant Chhokar.

Sameer Wankhede, the NCB’s zonal director, said Aryan and his friends were on the cruise ship when the agency team busted the rave party.

Shreyas Nair, who had supplied some drugs to the friends, has also been detained, Wankhede said.

Aryan’s lawyer, Satish Maneshinde, told the court that he had been invited to the party and did not even have a boarding pass as a regular passenger.

The NCB did not find any drugs on Aryan, he asserted.

“One of the grounds for asking custody is seizure of commercial quantity from other accused,” Maneshinde told the court.

“Commercial quantities seized from other accused cannot be foisted on Aryan. They are talking about international drug trafficking which is a very serious charge and has to be backed by evidence. WhatsApp chat without any recovery is not of significance... in several cases learned judges have granted bail and not tagged the entire seizure,” he added.

Jurgen Bailom, the president and CEO of Cordelia Cruise, told media persons that he was cooperating with the NCB. “There were about a thousand passengers when the ship (Cordelia Empress) left Mumbai,” said Bailom. He said he was not aware of the guests. The company had chartered the ship for a private event to a Delhi-based firm.

Several Bollywood celebrities have extended their support to Shah Rukh Khan. Salman Khan visited Khan at his home in Bandra on Sunday night. Suniel Shetty, Pooja Bhatt, Suchitra Krishnamurthy and director Hansal Mehta were among those who backed Aryan on social media.

“I stand in solidarity with you @SRK Not that you need it,” tweeted Pooja Bhatt. “But I do. This too, shall pass,” she further tweeted.

The case took a political turn on Monday.

The Congress accused that the NCB authorities had raided the cruise ship in a bid to divert attention from the massive seizure of nearly 3,000-kilogram (kg) of drugs by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) from Mundra port in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Gujarat.

The Congress has demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the drugs haul at Mundra.

Aryan was booked under provisions of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. Later, the NCB officials contacted Shah Rukh Khan and the father, and the son were allowed to speak for a few minutes in accordance with the law.