A special Mumbai court will today pronounce its orders on bail applications filed by Aryan Khan, the 23-year-old son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the drugs-on-cruise case.
Aryan Khan was arrested hours after Narcotics Control Bureau officers raided a Mumbai cruise ship party in disguise on October 2. Seven others, including his friend Arbaaz Merchant, were arrested on October 3.
He has been in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail since October 8 and was briefly in the custody of the NCB before that.
The anti-drugs agency has claimed in court that Aryan Khan is a regular consumer of drugs, adding that “this is the land of Mahatma Gandhi… this (drug) abuse is affecting young boys”.
Aryan Khan’s lawyers underlined the fact the NCB had found no drugs on their client or any evidence that suggested he was about to use banned substances.
The NCB, however, says the star son’s WhatsApp chats reveal his links to an international cartel and the fact that he regularly sourced drugs.
In response, senior advocate Amit Desai, arguing for Aryan Khan, said that the WhatsApp chats the agency was relying on heavily can often appear suspicious given the kind of language young people use today.
“Please bear in mind one other reality. Today’s generation have a means of communication, which is English… not the Queen’s English.. it’s sometimes what the older generation will call a torture. The way they communicate is very different,” he said.
“Conversions on chats can often be misunderstood. WhatsApp chats are supposed to be private conversations. But I am told there are no messages or conversations on the mobile about the rave party,” Mr Desai said.
The star’s son, say sources, was counselled by the agency’s high-profile Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, who has been leading the investigation.
He reportedly said he would “make everyone proud of him”, avoid wrongdoing and would work to help the poor and deprived.
A total of 20 people, including two Nigerian nationals, have been arrested so far in the case.