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[BREAKING] Aryan Khan Case : No Evidence For Conspiracy; Nothing Objectionable In WhatsApp Chats Suggesting Conspiracy, Says Bombay High Court In Bail Order

Sharmeen Hakim
20 Nov 2021 9:53 AM GMT
[BREAKING] Aryan Khan Case : No Evidence For Conspiracy; Nothing Objectionable In WhatsApp Chats Suggesting Conspiracy, Says Bombay High Court In Bail Order
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Prima facie there is no evidence on record to infer that Aryan Khan, his friend Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha conspired to commit offences under the Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substance Act, the Bombay High Court said in its detailed order granting bail to the trio in the cruise ship drug case. Justice Nitin Sambre had granted the trio bail on October 28, 2021. A detailed...

Prima facie there is no evidence on record to infer that Aryan Khan, his friend Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha conspired to commit offences under the Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substance Act, the Bombay High Court said in its detailed order granting bail to the trio in the cruise ship drug case.

Justice Nitin Sambre had granted the trio bail on October 28, 2021. A detailed copy of the order was made available today. They are booked under Section 8(c) read with Section 20(b), Sections 27, 28, 29 and 35 of the NDPS Act.

While nothing was recovered from Khan, Merchant was allegedly found in possession of 6gms of charas and 5gms of hashish was allegedly recovered from Dhamecha.

"Having regard to the material brought on record by the Respondent (NCB) on the issue of conspiracy, this court prima facie has not noticed any positive evidence against the Applicants on the said issue. This Court is of the opinion that the claim put forth by the Respondent that Applicants should be considered to have intention to commit an offence under the NDPS Act, having found in possession of commercial quantity, in the backdrop of case of hatching conspiracy is liable to be rejected."

The court rejected NCB's argument that since Section 29 of the NDPS Act pertaining to conspiracy was applicable, rigors for bail under Section 37 of the NDPS Act would apply and the cumulative quantity recovered should be considered.

The court observed that to prove conspiracy, there has to be positive evidence about an agreement to do an unlawful act and such agreement must precede with meeting of minds. And as far as the case at hand was concerned it is a fact that Khan and Arbaaz were travelling together whereas, Dhamecha had an independent travel plan, the court said.

WhatsApp Chats Don't Show conspiracy

The court further said that nothing objectionable is found in the WhatsApp chats of Aryan Khan to suggest there was conspiracy between him, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha : Bombay High Court.

"After having gone through the Whats-App chats extracted from Applicant/Accused no. 1's(Khan) phone, nothing objectionable could be noticed to suggest that Applicant nos. 1 & 2(Arbaaz Merchant) or all three applicants alongwith other Accused persons in agreement have meeting of minds and have hatched conspiracy committing the offence in question."

Travelling on the Same cruise Not enough to show Conspiracy

The court observed that merely because Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha were travelling in the same cruise, that by itself cannot be a foundation for the charge of conspiracy

Accused Not Tested To Show Consumption

In the order, Justice Sambre states that the accused were not even subjected to a medical examination so as to determine whether at the relevant time, they had consumed drugs.

Moreover, even if the prosecution's contention is taken as it is, that agreement to commit an offence would also amount to an offence, the maximum punishment attracted for consumption is not more than one year.

"Case of the prosecution is that Applicants have admitted to commit an offence also amounts to an offence under the NDPS Act. Even if it is appreciated, the maximum punishment prescribed is not more than one year for such offence. Applicants have already suffered incarceration for almost 25 days. The Applicants were not even subjected to medical examination so as to determine whether at the relevant time, they had consumed drugs."

Can't Say Accused Accepted Crime

The court has observed that confessional statements recorded by NCB could not be cited as evidence considering the SC's observations in Tofan Singh Vs. State of Tamil Nadu. Therefore NCB's claim that they have admitted to committing the crime must be rejected.

"Once the confessional statement of the Applicants/Accused cannot bind them of the offence in view of the Judgment of Supreme Court in the matter of Toofan Singh [cited supra], the claim put forth by the Respondent(NCB) that Accused persons have accepted their involvement in the crime is liable to be rejected", the order said.





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