Aryan Khan bail order released, Bombay High Court says ‘no evidence of conspiracy’ in drug related case, WhatsApp chats described irrelevant

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No evidence of a conspiracy has been found between Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha hatched any conspiracy to commit any drug-related offences as alleged by the Narcotics Control Bureau, said Bombay High Court in its detailed order granting bail to all three today in the cruise ship drug case. The court maintained that nothing objectionable was found in the WhatsApp chats procured from Aryan’s cell phone.

The order read, “There is hardly any positive evidence on record to convince this Court that all the accused persons with common intention agreed to commit unlawful act. Merely because Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant, and Munmun Dhamecha were travelling in the same cruise, that by itself cannot be a foundation for the charge of conspiracy against them.” Justice Nitin Sambre had granted bail to the trio on October 28, 2021. A detailed copy of the bail order was released today. They are booked under Section 8(c) read with Section 20(b), Sections 27, 28, 29 and 35 of the NDPS Act.

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The court also said, “Having regard to the material brought on record by the Respondent (NCB) on the issue of conspiracy, this court prima facie has not noticed any positive evidence against the Applicants on the said issue. This Court is of the opinion that the claim put forth by the Respondent that Applicants should be considered to have intention to commit an offence under the NDPS Act, having found in possession of commercial quantity, in the backdrop of case of hatching conspiracy is liable to be rejected."

The High Court also said that NCB cannot rely on the alleged confessional statements recorded by the investigating officer as they are not binding. Aryan was taken into custody on October 3, hours after drug raids on a cruise ship party by the NCB. He was denied bail twice and remained in custody for three weeks.

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