Aryan Khan, son of movie star Shah Rukh Khan, was denied bail on Monday after his sensational arrest in the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise case. The 23-year-old was sent to the custody of anti-drugs agency Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) till Thursday by a Mumbai court. Aryan Khan's parents Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan did not attend the bail hearing.
"Investigation is of prime importance and it needs to be carried out. It benefits both accused and investigator," a judge said while extending the custody of Aryan Khan and seven others.
Aryan Khan was "calm" while his friends Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha broke down when the judge announced the decision.
All eight were arrested on Sunday after the anti-drugs agency went undercover and raided a rave party on Saturday evening on the "Cordelia"cruise sailing from Mumbai to Goa.
The raids produced a haul of 13 grams of cocaine, 21 grams of charas, 22 pills of MDMA and 5 grams of MD, the anti-drugs bureau said. The drugs were found hidden in clothes, underwear and purses, reported news agency Press Trust of India, quoting an unnamed official of the anti-drugs bureau.
The agency told the court that it needed Aryan Khan in custody till October 11 (Monday week) to question him. The Narcotics Control Bureau alleged that the case involves an international drug cartel.
"Unless we investigate the consumer how do we know who is the supplier, who is financing it," the agency said.
"Links in the form of chats etc. show the involvement of international cartel. It is a group of persons, like a gang," the agency's lawyer told the court, adding that "code names" were found in Aryan Khan's chats and links of bank and cash transfers that had to be verified.
Aryan Khan argued that he was a special invitee to the cruise ship and "cannot be roped in with the entire seizure in the case".
He said investigators found nothing in his bag and found 6 gm with Arbaaz Merchant, "a small quantity".
He also said the officials had only found chats on his phone and "WhatsApp chats without any recovery" is of no significance.
"In my entire stay aboard I was not involved any drug usage," said senior lawyer Satish Maneshinde, appearing for Aryan Khan.
"One of the grounds for asking my custody is seizure of commercial quantity from other accused. Commercial quantity seized from other accused cannot be foisted on me. They are talking about international drug trafficking which is a very serious charge and has to be backed by evidence," said Aryan Khan.
Aryan Khan has been accused of purchase, possession and use of banned substances.
Munmun Dhamecha today denied knowing him as anything other than a celebrity.
Munmun Dhamecha's lawyer, Ali Kashif Khan Deshmukh, told NDTV, "She has no connection with the accused and the drugs the NCB claims to have seized were found on the ground and not on her person. She has no contact with the other accused and knows accused number 1 only as a celebrity. She is from Madhya Pradesh and came here for a job and got arrested. That's why she broke down when she saw her brother."