Politics Gives The Aryan Khan Case A High
THE WEEK|October 24, 2021
The Aryan Khan drugs-on-cruise case takes a political turn, with opposition parties alleging an NCB-BJP nexus
Pooja Biraia Jaiswal

As the Aryan Khan drugs on-cruise case drags on in court—a special court in Mumbai heard his bail plea on October 13 and said it would continue the following day—the whole episode has taken on a political hue.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had arrested the son of actor Shah Rukh Khan and seven others from a Goa-bound cruise liner on October 2. During the 12-hour raid, the agency recovered a variety of drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine, mephedrone, hydroponic weed and charas, and ₹1.33 lakh in cash.

Although it found no drugs on Aryan’s person, the NCB said he had confessed to consuming drugs, that his WhatsApp chats indicated he was in contact with drug peddlers and that his friend Arbaaz Merchant, who was with him, was carrying 6gm of charas.

Nawab Malik, a senior Nationalist Congress Party minister in the Maharashtra government, said that the entire operation seemed “fake, motivated and one that exposed the BJPNCB nexus”. He said that the arrest of Aryan was a “well-planned and targeted conspiracy”. He alleged that the NCB had let off three persons, including Rishabh Sachdeva, who is apparently a relative of Maharashtra BJP leader Mohit Kamboj.

After a few days in NCB custody, a magistrate court in Mumbai had sent Aryan and the others to judicial custody for 14 days.

On October 4, when the court first granted the NCB Aryan’s custody, the agency had argued that “regular students may get influenced due to the high-profile persons taking drugs”.

Advocate Satish Maneshinde, who appeared for Aryan, had argued that his client was a special invitee on the cruise ship and that the witness testimony did not indicate anything seized from him except his phone.

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