Arrest of Bollywood superstar’s son in drugs probe causes stir in India
New Delhi, Oct 4 (EFE).- A Mumbai court Thursday denied bail to the 23-year-old son of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan almost two weeks after his arrest in a drugs probe that has caused a stir in India.
Aryan Khan was arrested on Oct 2 in India’s financial and entertainment capital of Mumbai along with seven other people in a police raid on a luxury cruise ship.
Police claimed to have found narcotics on the ship that was bound for the neighboring coastal state of Goa.
After hearing prosecution and defense arguments, the court posted Khan’s bail applications for Oct.20 which means the star kid will have to remain in custody for at least six more days.
The Narcotics Control Bureau argued that the accused was not a first-time consumer.
“He has been a regular consumer of drugs for the last few years. The witness testimony clearly establishes that (the accused were) in conscious possession of contraband (…) they were going to smoke it on the cruise,” prosecution lawyer Anil Singh told the court.
Singh alleged that two accused, including Khan, were in touch with peddler Aachit Kumar, linked to a foreign national in what appeared “to be part of a drug trafficking network.”
Defense lawyer, Amit Desai, denied charges that his client carried drugs or had enough money to buy the contraband at the time of his arrest.
The prosecution backed its alleged with WhatsApp conversations, pointing out that Khan was using drugs.
Desai said WhatsApp chats are prone to misinterpretation in the absence of context.
“By no stretch of imagination the boy is involved in illicit drug trafficking or international drug trafficking. These allegations are fake,” the lawyer in court.
“These chats need to be seen as a whole. They need to see if these (the chats) are jokes, banter. Context is important when we deal with evidential value.”
Aryan Khan is the eldest son of the Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, 55.
He is one of the most famous Indian actors and is known as the “King of Bollywood.”
Shah Rukh has appeared in more than 105 movies in the acting career of nearly three decades.
Many in the Indian film industry rallied behind Khan, with some alleging that it was a care of harassment.
“I respect and support people doing their job, unfortunately this is not seeming to be about that. Disappointed with the decision of extending Aryan’s jail time,” film director Rahul Dholakia wrote on Twitter, expressing his disappointment with the court’s decision to deny bail.
“Pure harassment,” wrote actor Swara Bhaskar on the microblogging site. EFE