Eight months after his arrest by the Narcotics Bureau in Mumbai’s drug-related cases, Aryan Khan was given a clean slip by the Anti-Drug Agency’s special investigation team on Friday. The son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, along with five others, was not included in the indictment filed by the NCB.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Sanjay Kumar Singh, the NCB’s deputy general manager who ran the SIT, explained the premises that led to the clean chit to Aryan Khan.
1. The Narcotics Bureau had told the court that Aryan Khan procured contraband from his friend Arbaaz Merchant, who is among 14 people charged by the SIT. Singh told the Hindustan Times that the previous investigation team, led by then-zone director Sameer, could not prove the allegations. According to the head of the SIT, Arbaaz told officers Aryan Khan told him not to bring drugs. “Because Aryan’s drug-use charges did not stand, his phone was opened without a trial being instituted,” he added.
2. The NCB team had informed the court, citing WhatsApp chats, that the superstar’s son was part of an international drug trade and discussed the payment modalities for the procurement of drugs. The SIT investigation found that the WhatsApp chats on Khan’s phone did not link him to the case. “The courts have ruled that WhatsApp chats cannot be used as primary evidence,” Sanjay Singh said.
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3. The NCB Deputy General Manager highlighted three important gaps in the investigation carried out by the previous NCB team. First, Wankhede’s team didn’t record the raids on the Cordelia cruise bust. Second, no one, including Aryan Khan, has been medically examined. The confiscation of the defendant’s mobile phone occurred by mistake. Singh also said the WhatsApp chats were recorded from Aryan’s phone without following any legal action.
4. Prabhakar Sail, one of the witnesses in the case, told SIT that he was forced to sign blank papers by the previous investigation team led by Wankhede. Singh said blanket arrests were made on similar charges that are not legally tenable. Sail died of a heart attack at his home on April 2nd.
5. The SIT head told Hindustan Times that the four arrested organizers of Cordelia events had no knowledge of drugs. “We reviewed their contract and determined that they were not responsible for searching, screening and ensuring that those boarding would use drugs on the cruise,” he said.