Mumbai court refuses bail to Aryan Khan, two others in drugs case
After hearing the arguments, the magistrate denied bail to Aryan Khan, Munmun Dhamecha and Arbaaz Merchant, saying their applications were not maintainable
A metropolitan magistrate on Friday denied bail to Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, and two others in a case pertaining to the alleged seizure of banned drugs from a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R M Nerlikar rejected the bail pleas of Aryan Khan (23) and the other two accused.
The court on Thursday had sent Aryan Khan and seven others arrested in the case in 14-day judicial remand after their NCB custody ended.
On Friday, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the NCB, opposed the bail applications of the three accused.
"We are raising issue on maintainability. So answer that first," said ASG to Khan's counsel Satish Maneshinde.
"All arguments will be argued at one stage," said Maneshinde.
"No that cannot be. Once maintainability is raised, then that has to be heard first," the ASG retorted.
The Court initially said that the issue of maintainability can be raised along with the reply on merits and there is no requirement for a separate application.
However, the ASG insisted that the Sessions court has to hear the bail application in view of the facts of the case.
"If there are 10 accused in one offence, same FIR, even if one accused is found with small quantity, and others not, then there cannot be segregation, and the sessions court is supposed to hear," the ASG submitted.
He then proceeded to make arguments on maintainability. The objection raised by NCB was that only the special court of sessions has the jurisdiction to try the case and hence hear the a bail application too.
"The jurisdiction of this court is within the confines of Section 36A of the NDPS Act. It is the prosecution's case that all persons arrayed in the crime are alleged to have committed offences exclusively triable by special court of sessions," the NCB submitted in its reply.
In this regard, reliance was placed on the judgment of the Bombay High Court in Rhea Chakraborty v. Union of India in which it was held that all offences under the NDPS Act are non-bailable and cognizable in nature.
"Hence, they are triable only by special court. Since the offence are triable exclusively by special court, the CMM has no jurisdiction to even entertain this application," the NCB contended.
Satish Maneshinde, however, responded that the power to grant bail is inherently provided in Section 437 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
"Kindly see sub-section 5 of Section 36. Offences punishable for more than 3 years.. will be tried summarily. Who will try? Magistrate court. Section 437 of CrPC, the powers to grant bail is inherently given in CRPC," he said.
The embargo under Section 437 on courts other than High Court or Sessions Court for grant of bail, is that the offence should be punishable by death or life imprisonment, Maneshinde pointed out.
"That is not applicable to me," he said.
"There is no prohibition on the Magistrate (to hear bail plea) because this court is covered by CrPC and the magistrate has jurisdiction to try several offences," Maneshinde added.
In this regard, he placed reliance on the judgment in Sanjay Malshe v. State of Maharashtra.
On the merits, Maneshinde highlighted how no recoveries were made from Khan.
"The High Court has granted bail for small quantity, I have been found with nothing. Not even one gram, nothing," it was submitted.
They have alleged charges of conspiracy but there is nothing to disclose any conspiracy, he added.
"I am a 23 yr old with no prior antecedents. I am from respectable family, my parents, Siblings are here. I hold Indian passport. I have roots in the society, cannot abscond. There is no question of tampering of evidence or accused. The electronic evidence is taken, the other accused are in custody," Maneshinde said, concluding his arguments.
After hearing the arguments, the magistrate denied bail to Aryan Khan, Munmun Dhamecha and Arbaaz Merchant, saying their applications were not maintainable.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had arrested these three along with some others over the last weekend after raiding the Goa-bound Cordelia cruise ship on Saturday evening. The central agency had claimed to have recovered drugs from the ship.
A total of 18 persons have been arrested so far in the case.
Published: 08 Oct 2021, 6:15 PM