The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has withdrawn its case against Aryan Khan by informing the court that no drugs were found on him. NCB arrested eight people, including Aryan Khan, on October 3 2021, in connection with an alleged drug bust on a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai.
The NCB stated in a charge sheet that no drugs were found on Aryan Khan and there was no “substantial evidence” to charge him and five others.
Mukul Rohatgi, the senior advocate who represented Aryan Khan in court, speaks to Barkha Dutt about the dramatic developments in the Aryan Khan case.
Rohtagi stated that he is relieved, as is Shah Rukh Khan, that charges are dropped against Aryan after having to spend 26 harrowing days in jail under public and media scrutiny for no fault of his own. He told Mojo that Shahrukh had a significant role in Aryan’s case and was actively involved in it. He even moved into the Mumbai hotel where the lawyer was staying so that he could actively consult with him, “I was surprised to see the superstar taking so much initiative on the case. He would attend all meetings, take notes, and discuss every aspect of the case.”
He stated that there was no investigation when Aryan was arrested. The arrest was made with the assumption that this man would be found guilty, “The NCB realised they made a mistake because there was no evidence to arrest him. The NCB should introspect into the case to determine whether the arrest was hasty or motivated by the public glare.”
When no charge sheet is filed, people have to spend days, months and years in jail, which is unfair, according to Rohtagi. He said that Imprisonment especially for an undertrial has a very harrowing impact on any human being more so on a young person or someone who has never committed any crime as you are in contact with other criminals in the jail who may have had several crimes with them.
He emphasised that every prosecuting agency – CBI, local police, GST, and so on – should always remember that the power to arrest does not imply the obligation to arrest, “Arrest, according to the law, is the last resort. They could have taken a bond based on his good behaviour and his refusal to flee, but they went too far.”
Rohtagi believes that the NBC should offer an apology to Aryan, “Apology and accepting their mistake is the gracious, decency, and dignified approach. It will only grow in stature if it admits its mistake. Furthermore, it will be a warning to prosecuting agencies to not overstep like this.”