Why was Aryan Khan’s bail plea rejected again? Reason lies in WhatsApp chats

The judge said Aryan's chats prima facie reveal that he is dealing in illicit drug activities for narcotic substances on regular basis

The NCB has claimed that prima facie Aryan Khan had a role in illicit procurement and distribution of contraband.

The reason for a special Mumbai court to reject Aryan Khan’s bail plea in the drugs-on-cruise case on Wednesday (October 20) lies in his WhatsApp messages.

The court observed that Shah Rukh Khan’s son regularly indulged in “illicit drug activities”. “WhatsApp chats prima facie reveal accused Aryan Khan is dealing in illicit drug activities for narcotic substances on regular basis. Therefore, it cannot be said that Khan is not likely to commit similar offence while on bail,” Judge VV Patil said in his order.

“As argued by the learned ASG (Additional Solicitor General), though no criminal antecedent are there, from WhatsApp chats of applicant No. 1 (Aryan Khan) it is reflected that he was indulging in illicit drug activities,” the judge said.

Aryan has been in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail since October 8. Aryan, his friend Arbaaz Merchant, and seven others were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 3.

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The NCB has claimed the accused were going to a rave party on the cruise ship. They seized 13 grams of cocaine, 21 grams of charas, 22 pills of MDMA and 5 grams of MD.

Aryan’s lawyer Amit Desai said they are now planning to move the Bombay High Court. “We have not been told the grounds on which our bail plea was rejected,” Desai told reporters outside the court.

ANI reported the NCB as saying that police have found drugs-related WhatsApp chats that are allegedly between Aryan Khan and a debuting actress.

The accused have been booked under Sections 8(c) read with 20b (purchase), Section 27 (consumption), Section 28 (attempt to commit offence), Section 29 (abetment/conspiracy) and Section 35 (presumption of culpable mental state) of the NDPS Act.

The court had last Thursday reserved their bail pleas for orders, after hearing the Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh for the NCB and senior advocate Amit Desai for Aryan.

According to the ASG, Aryan was a regular consumer of drugs, and the contraband found on Merchant was for both of them to have a “blast” on the cruise. The NCB also claimed that prima facie Aryan had a role in illicit procurement and distribution of contraband and his chats indicated an international link.

Desai argued that NCB didn’t recover contraband or money from Aryan, which could have been used to purchase drugs. Assuming that Aryan was a consumer, Desai said the law mandates a reformative approach and punishment for consumption was reduced to just one year.

Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan, who spoke to Aryan on video call last Friday, have not made any public statement on the case. Some in Bollywood have come out in support of the family, such as actors Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan, and filmmakers including Farah Khan. The case has also sparked a political row, with the Maharashtra government accusing the NCB of going after specific individuals on orders from the BJP-led central government.

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