Mumbai: Bail pleas of Aryan Khan, 2 others rejected on grounds of ‘jurisdiction of court’ | Mumbai News – Times of India


MUMBAI: A magistrate court on Friday rejected Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan’s plea for bail on grounds of maintainability and jurisdiction of court. It rejected bail pleas of his friend Arbaaz Merchant, 26, and Munmun Dhamecha, 28, as well.
The court only pronounced the operative part of the order, and reasons will follow later as it was the end of the court day and dictation would take long. Khan’s counsel Satish Maneshinde said in court that it was fine if the operative part was delivered because if necessary, they would ready themselves to approach sessions court. Later, he declined to comment. But with a weekend ahead, it will be two nights in jail before a fresh bail plea gets taken up for hearing in sessions court.

All three were arrested on October 3 following a raid by the Narcotics Control Bureau on a cruise ship which led to seizure of drugs. Maneshinde said with “not even an ounce” of contraband found on him, he ought not to be denied bail and with alleged chats on his phone leading up to no recovery, he cannot be kept in custody for a minute.
The applications are “not maintainable” before his court, said additional chief metropolitan magistrate R M Nerlikar, after hearing and accepting preliminary objections raised by NCB special counsel, ASG Anil Singh, and agency’s prosecutor Advait Sethna.
Singh cited judgments, including the one by Bombay HC granting bail to actor Rhea Chakraborty, where it was held all NDPS offences are non-bailable and hence the case is exclusively triable by the special court, which is at the sessions court, rendering the magistrate sans jurisdiction to consider bail.
The sessions court has jurisdiction to hear and grant regular bail and by that virtue also consider a plea for interim bail, while the magistrate can only grant remand, said Singh, stressing he was not trampling on anyone’s right to seek bail. “Am not saying they cannot seek it elsewhere. It is not maintainable here ( Esplanade court),” he said, adding that on October 7 the court had already forwarded the case to the special sessions court.
The court first heard Maneshinde and advocates Taraq Sayed for Merchant and Ali Kaashif Khan for Dhamecha. They said not only is the magistrate empowered to grant bail, on merits too they are entitled as NCB has shown no material. Sayed said the NCB case, if accepted, merely says 6 gm charas was found on him, which attracts at best a maximum of 6 months’ in jail.
Singh said the NCB case against 17 persons so far is one of criminal conspiracy where witness and evidence will be common. There cannot be two trials and granting bail to some would hamper probe as influential accused can tamper with evidence and witnesses. Lawyers for the trio denied being part of any criminal conspiracy. Maneshinde said merely because section 27 A (trafficking) under NDPS Act is invoked, it cannot be foisted on Khan. Maneshinde said Khan “belongs to a respectable family with roots in society.” “Merely because he is from an influential family, it cannot be a ground to suggest he may tamper with a probe or to deny him bail.” He cited a judgment which essentially says the effect of an unhealthy practice of denying or opposing bail is that a maliciously prosecuted person remains in jail.
“ They (NCB) say they have chats, but for bail they can be disregarded,” said Maneshinde. The ASG said, “chats are relevant… the chat refers to “bulk” quantities.” He said suppliers were arrested and now a Nigerian too with commercial quantities. The court remanded the foreign national Chinedu Igwe to NCB custody till October 11.

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