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"My Whatsapp chats are being used to entangle me in a cruise ship drug case," says Aryan Khan in his bail application to the Sessions Court

In his bail application before the Special NDPS Court, Aryan Khan, accused number 1 in the cruise ship drug case, pleaded innocence and false implication. 

Khan claims that no contraband was discovered on him and that the allegations against him would only result in a one-year prison sentence.

Furthermore, the bail embargo under Section 37 of the NDPS Act would not apply because no recoveries were made from him and all of the allegations relate to small amounts.

The plea states, “The applicant is the son of a prominent Bollywood film actor...The applicant is innocent and has not committed any crime whatsoever. The applicant has been falsely implicated in the present case.”

Last Sunday (October 3,2021), the Narcotics Control Bureau detained and later arrested Khan, Arbaaz Merchant, and Munmun Dhamecha. 

After six and five grammes of charas were allegedly seized from Merchant and Dhamecha, they were booked under sections 8(c) read with 20b (purchase), 27 (consumption), 28 (attempt to commit offence), 29 (abetment/ conspiracy), and 35 (presumption of culpable mental state) of the NDPS Act.

The three have approached the special court after a magistrate's court denied his bail application on the grounds that it was not mainatable. 

Special Judge VV Patil granted NCB until Wednesday to file their response to Khan's petition and scheduled the case for hearing on Wednesday.

According to Khan's plea, the prosecution is relying solely on certain alleged WhatsApp chats to entangle him in the current proceedings, without establishing the veracity or accuracy of the chats.

The plea added, “In addition, there is nothing to suggest that these alleged chats have any connection whatsoever to the case that is presently being investigated.”

It cites the case of Paul Bartels v. Union of India, in which the accused was released on bail after it was determined that no contraband, but only WhatsApp chats, were discovered, and thus the accused was granted bail. 

Based on the evidence, there is nothing on record to suggest that Khan is involved in the production, manufacture, distribution, or possession of psychotropic substances, so no offence under the NDPS Act is established against him.

The plea states, “The allegations being levelled by the respondents are not corroborated/substantiated in any manner whatsoever.”

According to the application, Khan has deep societal roots and is a permanent resident of Mumbai with his family. So, there is no possibility he will abscond.

Khan stated in his application, “That India is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and the city of Mumbai has been especially suffering…Given the factual matrix of the present case and the ongoing pandemic, remanding the applicant to extended custody would be prejudicial to his physical health as well.”

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