Former Chief Advocate and Prosecutor Mukul Rohatgi, who played a key role in securing bail for Aryan Khan, said the Mumbai drug case against the 23-year-old son of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan, has been stretched too far by the Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (NCB) despite the lack of Evidence against him.
In an exclusive interview with India Today, Rohatgi said that prosecutorial agencies are trying to keep people in jail once they are in custody. “Educating law enforcement agencies will go a long way in alleviating prison overcrowding,” he said.
There was no evidence of consumption, roving, or carrying large quantities. However, the National Commercial Bank tried to make it an issue of commercial scale, which led to its expansion too much.”
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When asked about the Bombay High Court’s decision to grant bail to Aryan, Rohatgi told India Today that there are two main aspects to the case. Firstly, there was no drug recovery from Aryan and secondly, it was related to Arbaaz Merchant, one of the defendants in the case.
Rohatgi said that if a person is consumed in small quantities, they will be treated differently. “Law enforcement agencies fail to make this distinction. They have jumped into commercial quantity,” he said.
For non-professionals, Aryan on Saturday returned home from Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai after spending 22 days there after being arrested in an NCB raid on a cruise ship off the city’s coast. Aryan got out of jail at 11am, got in a car and arrived at Manat House, a landmark of Surban Bandra half an hour later, while fans waited outside the historic bungalow to catch a glimpse.
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Aryan was released from prison a day after a special court issued a warrant for his release. He was released on bail by the Bombay High Court on Thursday. Juhi Chawla, the actor’s girlfriend and SRK’s boyfriend, stood as collateral for the 23-year-old before the Special Court, which was set to hear cases related to the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS).
The High Commission on Friday afternoon submitted its operative order imposing 14 bail conditions on Aryan Khan and his co-accused in the case, Arbaaz Merchant and Mun Demicha, who have also been released on bail, which provides for their release on personal bail of Rs. 1 lakh with one or two guarantors of the same amount. The respite for the trio came just a day before the HC’s two-week break on Diwali.
In the five-page order, the Supreme Court said the trio will have to surrender their passports to the NDPS court and will not leave India without the permission of the special court and will have to attend the National Central Bank office every Friday between 11am and 2am. Evening to celebrate their presence. The judge will issue a detailed bail order along with the reasons next week.
Aryan Khan, Tajrant and Damecha were arrested by the Central Bank on 3 October and taken into custody under the relevant sections of the NDPS Act for possession, consumption, sale/purchase of prohibited drugs, conspiracy and abetting. To alleged drug dealer Achet Kumar and eight others arrested by the NCB following the cruise ship raid. Of the 20 people arrested by the NCB after the raid, 14 have been released on bail so far.
(with input from PTI)