No evidence of conspiracy have been found against Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha convicted in the drugs-on-cruise case, Bombay High Court said in a detailed order granting bail to them
“WhatsApp chats extracted from the phone of Aryan Khan shows that nothing objectionable was noticed to suggest that he, Merchant and Dhamecha along with other accused in the case have hatched a conspiracy of committing the offence in question,” the order said.
It also held that the confessional statement of Aryan Khan recorded by the NCB under section 67 of the NDPS Act can be considered only for investigation purposes and cannot be used as a tool for drawing an inference that the accused have committed an offence under the NDPS Act.
“There is hardly any positive evidence on record to convince this court that all the accused persons with common intention agreed to commit unlawful acts,” the court said while rejecting the Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) argument that the case of all the accused ought to be considered together.
Rather the probe carried out till date suggests that Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant were travelling independently of Munmun Dhamecha and “there was no meeting of minds’ on the alleged offence, the 14-page order said. “So as to infer the case of conspiracy against the applicants also, there is absence of material on record of them having such meeting of minds with the other accused, who were named in the offence in question,” the order said.
The court further noted that the trio had already suffered incarceration for almost 25 days and the prosecution had not even conducted a medical examination on them so as to determine if they had consumed drugs.
On October 28, a single bench of Justice N W Sambre granted bail to Aryan Khan, his friend Arbaaz Merchant and model Munmun Dhamecha on a personal bond of ₹one lakh each.
A detailed copy of the order was released today.
(With inputs from agencies)
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