New Delhi: After initially being accused of involvement in an international drug syndicate, of which he was acquitted in March, 2022, Aryan Khan was cleared of all charges on May 27. Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan, and five others were cleared of all charges after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) cited lack of sufficient evidence against them. This comes eight months after he was arrested from the Cordellia cruise, which was intercepted on October 2, 2021, and narcotics were found in possession of all, except two, including Aryan.
Yet, Aryan was kept in jail for almost a month on the basis of loosely framed charges, including that of being a part of a larger drug ‘conspiracy’. In March this year, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the NCB found no evidence of him being part of a drug syndicate and today he was given a clean chit.
After his arrest, Aryan became the subject of media trial, with everything being followed with vociferous intensity, including his food in jail, and Aryan being taken for medical tests. His WhatsApp chats were made public, which the NCB, Mumbai, then handling the case, had dubbed as “shocking and incriminating”. Yet, as it turns out, there was nothing incriminating enough to land a complaint under various sections of the NDPS Act.
During the raid, the NCB had seized 13 grams of high-quality cocaine, 5 grams of MD, 21 grams of charas, and 22 pills of MDMA. A couple of weeks after his arrest, the NCB had declared Aryan as linked to the international drug network, and being involved in drug trafficking as well as consumption.
The submissions were made before Special Judge V V Patil, designated to hear matters related to the NDPS Act, during the hearing of the bail plea filed by Aryan and the co-accused. The NCB said the initial probe had revealed that Aryan was in touch with some persons abroad who appeared to be a part of an international drug network for illicit procurement.
And many in the TV media latched on to it, with one particularly loud English channel reporter saying that those involved were part of an international drug trafficking racket where people bought drugs “through the darknet, using cryptocurrency”.
Another Hindi channel shouted: “high on a boat” in one program adding to its ticker “big faces will be unmasked”. Aryan’s connection to drug syndicate was not being questioned, but almost instantly being treated as proven.
Yet now, the NCB’s SIT team headed by Sanjay Kumar Singh, DDG (Ops), which was constituted to investigate the case on November 6, 2021 taking over from NCB Mumbai, says that “based on the investigation carried out by SIT, a complaint against 14 persons under various section of NDPS Act is being filed. Complaint against rest 6 persons is not filed due to lack of sufficient evidence.”