On Monday, a petition filed by Aryan Khan, son of the Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, and two others opposing the extension of Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) custody was rejected by the Mumbai court and sent to NCB custody till October 7. Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant, and Munmun Dhamecha were arrested on Sunday after banned drugs were seized by the NCB during a raid on the Empress cruise ship off the Mumbai coast.
The court accepted NCB’s plea seeking further custody of Aryan and his friends. Anil Singh, the Additional Solicitor General, represented the NCB during the court hearing and stated that WhatsApp chats found in Aryan’s phone clearly show the link. Singh added that the chats have code words used for peddlers that need to be decoded and stated that it is necessary to confront all accused in the custodial remand.
Satish Maneshinde, the lawyer of Aryan Khan, argued that the NCB can’t simply rely on WhatsApp chats and seek custody extension. Maneshinde told the court that Aryan was arrested by the NCB before and not on the cruise, he was invited as a guest and did not have any contacts with the organizers, dealers, or any other person, he did not have a boarding pass, any seat or cabins, and nothing was found in his bag during searches.
Aryan’s statement also added that despite being interrogated for 48 hours, they found nothing. He has no criminal antecedents and has cooperated with the NCB, so any further custody should be rejected.
SN Pradhan, chief of NCB, stated that the case is being investigated from all angles, they are looking for the main supplier, and the probe will be carried out professionally despite it being high-profile.