Amit Desai, a senior counsel, argued on Wednesday in the Bombay High Court that the arrests of Aryan Khan, his friends Arbaaz Merchant and Munmum Dhamnia in the cruise drug case was illegal. He cited the rules and judgements concerning contraband seizures of small quantities, adding Supreme Court’s ruling that disapproved unwarranted arrest.
He also cited a landmark 2014 ruling in the matter when the apex court ruled in Arnesh Kumar case, seeking mandatory enforcement of section 41A for “all offences that attract less than 7 years’ jail term.”
“We are arrested for an offence of consumption that has not been committed,” Desai said, pointing that they could only be accused of intention to consume.
Desai further told the court that “So far as WhatsApp chats are concerned, it is abundantly clear that there are no WhatsApp chats to support the conspiracy theory.”
Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi added that in Aryan’s arrest memo, there is no mention of any recovery and a joint possession, in law, cannot be shown.
Aryan’s lawyers maintained that nothing was recovered from him during arrest and he was invited as a guest on the cruise ship to add the glamour quotient. “There was no recovery, no consumption or no medical test done as far as Aryan is concerned,” senior advocate Rohatgi had told the Bombay HC on Tuesday.”There is no evidence. My client has not financed anyone trafficking. Kindly see 29 for abetting. The punishment is same as the offence,” Rohatgi argued. While the NCB has opposed the bail request saying it is liable to be rejected on the sole ground of “clear instances of tampering, influencing witnesses”.
The Bombay High Court was hearing Aryan’s bail plea. The court had then adjourned the matter and will hear the further arguments in the case today. The NCB is also expected to submit its reply by today.