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Lawyer Rizwan Merchant on Aryan Khan drugs case: The NCB’s operation seems like a farce -Exclusive! – Times of India

Senior lawyer Rizwan Merchant, who has represented Sanjay Dutt in the past, spoke exclusively to ETimes sharing his thoughts on the on-going investigation and court case featuring Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan. He said, “The Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) operation of search, WhatsApp chats and alleged seizures is a farce. Under the guise of a rave party, they claim to have entered the cruise and made seizures. This is far from the truth. Where does the NCB get finance of raising Rs 20-plus lakhs for purchasing 26 entry passes to the cruise at Rs 80,000 per pass? This is a ridiculous claim. They never entered the cruise. They started frisking and searching guests at the entry point to the cruise. You can’t have a rave party with trance music with just 8 people on the boat. Having allowed 1800 people to leave would mean that none of them had drugs on them. So you can’t have a rave party with just 8 to 10 people.”

He brings up the topic of the CCTV footage of the cruise ship terminal where Aryan and his friend Arbaaz Merchant were detained. He says, “Why is it that the NCB feels the need to take charge of the CCTV recordings from the cruise terminals? The truth will be revealed through these CCTV recordings on the cruise terminal as well as on the cruise itself.” Merchant also feels that the political faces aiding the NCB during the raids raises red flags. He says, “The presence of political persons in the search party also raises doubts about the authenticity and genuineness of the entire case.”

The Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil C Singh, during recent court proceedings has cited the case of Rhea Chakraborty to establish that NDPS offences are non-bailable. Commenting on the veracity of these claims, Merchant says, “In the case of Rhea Chakraborty & others, the NCB initially made a statement that they had disclosed bailable offences and that just 2 days are required for some investigations. Thereafter, they filed their replies to bail applications filed in court. Immediately after 2 days, they appeared in court claiming that it’s a case of financing and that section 27A of the NDPS Act has been applied making the offence non-bailable.” Merchant explains that the same chronology is being used in Aryan Khan’s case. He says, “This is precisely what they’ve done in the case of Aryan, too. Firstly, they claimed that it’s a bailable offence, then disclosed WhatsApp chats etc and claimed that it’s a case of international racketeering and therefore offence has become non-bailable.”

Finally, Merchant expresses his disappointment and says, “These dishonest tricks belittle the reputation of a prime, Central Government agency, which was essentially formed for targeting drug traffickers and drug peddlers.”

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