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'Aryan Khan Should Not Have Been Arrested, It Was a Travesty of Justice', Says Lawyer Maneshinde

News18 logo News18 28-10-2021 Marya Shakil
'Aryan Khan Should Not Have Been Arrested, It Was a Travesty of Justice', Says Lawyer Maneshinde © Provided by News18 'Aryan Khan Should Not Have Been Arrested, It Was a Travesty of Justice', Says Lawyer Maneshinde

Senior lawyer Satish Maneshinde, who is representing Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan‘s son Aryan Khan in the Mumbai drugs seizure case, on Thursday said the trial was a travesty of justice as the case was not such where Aryan should have been arrested.

“This was not a case where Aryan should have been arrested. He was in jail for over 20 days, it was a travesty of justice. No father or family should go through this kind of situation,” he told CNN-News18 hours after Aryan Khan, co-accused Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha were granted bail by the Bombay High Court.

The trio was arrested by the NCB in the case of seizure of banned drugs aboard a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on October 3 and booked under relevant sections of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) for possession, consumption, sale/purchase of banned drugs, conspiracy and abetment.

ALSO READ | Aryan Khan Gets Bail, But Won’t Walk Free Tonight. Here’s Why

Terming the arrest as unwarranted and illegal, he said what worked for his client was that “we got a judge who ultimately accepted our submissions”, adding that he maintained that Aryan Khan did not have any drugs on him since day one. “There is no evidence and WhatsApp chats cannot be determined as evidence against him,” he said.

Denying any conscious possessions and conspiracy, charges levelled against him by the NCB, he said Khan was not found with any substances. “He was searched, taken to the NCB office, nothing was found on him. There is no evidence that connects him to anything or anybody found on the ship,” he said.

Maneshinde further said they are still not clear why Aryan was arrested. “It is still unclear what were the circumstances for his arrest, why he was targeted and why such drastic measures were taken against him,” he said.

However, he said he will wait for the orders of the Bombay high court and then comment on the further course of action. “Here was a family whose boy went on a trip with his friends to a ship and was supposed to sail and come back within a few days. But within a few hours, the family was informed that he was detained,” he said.

The senior advocate said Shah Rukh Khan’s family had suffered a lot. “The trauma and the efforts they had to put in to get their son out and the fact that Shah Rukh Khan and his family have not uttered a single word tells you how humble he is and moved heaven and earth to get his son out,” he said.

When asked about the NCB’s anti-drug probe currently under the scanner, Maneshinde, who also represented Rhea Chakraborty in the alleged drugs case involving late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, said, “nothing has emerged in the Rhea Chakravarty case. I feel the entire investigative machinery in our country needs to be overhauled.”

On being asked on NCB’s focus on the end-users and consumers of drugs instead of targeting the “big fish” or big cartels, Maneshinde said the main kingpins and drug peddlers of large quantities never get arrested. “I have never seen, in over 30 years of my career, any kingpin of any crime arrested and prosecuted in the courts of law.”

On being asked about the nature of conversations held with actor Shah Rukh Khan, he said Khan is very humble, courteous, and can withstand any pressure on him. “I hope no other father, parent or family goes through this trauma. You can imagine, if a superstar like Shah Rukh Khan had to go through such misery to get his son out, what would be the conditions of a poor man’s child in our country.”

“Right from the time of the verdict till now we have been together,” he added.

However, the legal team had planned its strategy right from the first day, he said. On questions raised regarding the likely impact of the narrative concerning the NCB built outside court having implications in the judgement of case, Maneshinde said he would not comment on what was happening outside the courtroom. “From stage to stage, I was in touch with the persons concerned and planned in such a manner and achieved the ultimate end result,” he said.

Speaking on the likely continuation of Aryan Khan’s trial, he said while he cannot speak for the future, “for now, the trauma is over.”

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