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Aryan Khan's bail plea likely to be heard today

His lawyer spells out further plans

Aryan Khans bail plea likely to be heard today

The bail plea of Aryan Khan, arrested on October 3 by the Narcotics Control Bureau after it raided a rave party on a Goa-bound cruise, is likely to be heard on Monday by special court under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in Mumbai.

The lawyer of Aryan Khan, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's son, spelled out their next move if the bail application is rejected by the court. "It is natural that if bail application is rejected by a court, we move to the higher court. We have filed the bail application here. The hearing is likely to take place today," Aryan Khan's lawyer Satish Maneshinde told sources.

Last Friday, a local court in Mumbai denied bail to 23-year-old Aryan Khan and two others. Additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM) RM Nerlikar sent Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha to jail for two weeks pending an investigation into the case.

They have been booked under various provisions of the NDPS act. Nerlikar said in his 15-page order released on Saturday that a magistrate's court does not have the jurisdiction to entertain a bail application for an offence with prescribed punishment of more than three years under the NDPS act and it has to be tried by a special court.

An NCB team raided the Goa-bound cruise ship on October 2 based on a tip-off and claimed to have seized banned drugs aboard the cruise ship off the Mumbai coast. The NCB said on Sunday it arrested a Nigerian national in connection with the cruise ship drugs party raid, taking the number of people arrested to 20 in connection with the case.

An NCB official told sources that a team laid a trap in suburban Goregaon and apprehended the accused, identified as Okaro Ouzama, "along with an intermediate quantity of cocaine" on Saturday. The official added this was the second arrest of a foreign national in the case and that the NCB is making effort to explore the foreign linkages on the basis of interrogation of those who have been accused.

The case has taken a political turn after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on Wednesday claimed the NCB raid was fake and that outsiders were involved in it. After that, Malik alleged that the NCB initially detained 11 people from the Goa-bound cruise ship, but let off three of them, including the brother-in-law of a BJP leader, a couple of hours later.

The NCB has also said that all the allegations levelled against it in connection with the cruise ship raid were "baseless, motivated afterthoughts and prejudicial". NCB's Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede said the anti-drugs agency works professionally. "We do not see any political party and religion. We do our job professionally," he added.

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