New Delhi: The Bombay High Court adjourned the hearing in Aryan Khan’s bail plea till 2.30 pm on Wednesday. Former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Aryan Khan in the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise case, on Tuesday said Khan was not a customer but was invited as special guest by a man called Prateek Gaba, who was acting as an event manager.
However, the 23-year-old son of Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan, and Arbaaz Merchant were apprehended by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) even before they could board the cruise ship. The NCB sleuths were present in some strength at the terminal based on prior information, he said.
Rohatgi said, “Nothing was recovered from my client (Aryan Khan) and they have nothing to show he consumed anything either. There was no occasion to arrest my client, short and simple.” The former Attorney General said Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3 and his statement was recorded on the same day.
“No medical at any point was conducted to ascertain if he has taken any drug,” said Rohatgi.
He went on to argue that Aryan Khan and Arbaz Merchant, from whose possession six grams of Charas was recovered, have no relation except for arriving together.
❝I am not concerned or connected with panch witness No. 1 or 2 (Prabhakar Sail or KP Gosavi).❞– Mukul Rohatgi (on behalf of Aryan Khan)
Speaking on behalf of Aryan Khan, Rohatgi said, “As there was no recovery no consumption, I say that I’m arrested wrongly. What is put against me is that accused 2 (Arbaz Merchant) came with me and was having something with him. So I am charged with conscious possession of drugs.”
“How can I be charged with conscious possession if someone carried something in his shoes?” he asked
“The second thing put against me (Aryan), is important – that many others were found with some amount of drugs so they allege that there was a general conspiracy. They’re not charging me with consumption/possession but with conspiracy and conspiracy not with accused two, but others,” Rohatgi argued on Aryan Khan’s behalf.
Rohatgi further argued that even if conscious possession was taken, the maximum Khan can be charged with is 1 year, for the 6 grams. “Possession of somebody else cannot be my possession unless there is control and knowledge.”
❝The WhatsApp Chats have nothing to do with the cruise case. They are all chats with people from before.❞– Mukul Rohatgi (on behalf of Aryan Khan)
Addressing the extortion allegations against NCB officer Sameer Wankhede, Rohatgi said, “I don’t accuse any officer of NCB. I am not concerned or connected with panch witness No. 1 or 2 (Prabhakar Sail or KP Gosavi).”
As the Bombay High Court questioned the basis for the WhatsApp Chats, the former attorney general said, “The WhatsApp Chats have nothing to do with the cruise case. They are all chats with people from before.”
“They are some boys..the law provides that for small quantities the maximum punishment is one year. And there is also immunity from prosecution after they go to a rehabilitation centre,” said Rohatgi.
“I am arguing a case which is actually not there against me. My case is not of possession or consumption.”
Rohatgi also cited the status of certain drugs in other nations saying, “In US and some parts of the world, cannabis is legal.”