An Indian court on Friday denied bail to Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan’s 23-year-old son Aryan Khan after his arrest in a cruise ship drug raid.
Mr Khan and seven other people were arrested on Sunday after undercover Narcotics Control Bureau officers raided and recovered drugs from cruise ship Cordelia while it sailed from Mumbai to Goa.
The Mumbai court on Thursday refused to extend his custody to NCB, saying “that would amount to violation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution” and remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days.
It also adjourned the interim bail petition by a day but on Friday denied Mr Khan relief after prosecution argued that the appeal was not maintainable before the magistrate's court.
“Heard, considered, decisions cited, applications are not maintainable hence rejected,” Judge R M Nerlikar ordered at the end of the nearly six-hour hearing.
The Bollywood megastar’s son will be transferred to Mumbai’s high security Arthur Jail before his lawyers can make another attempt to free him on bail.
Mr Khan has pleaded innocent and denied charges that he consumed or possessed drugs or had links with drug traffickers, saying that he was invited on to the luxury cruise-liner as a guest by one of the accused.
The bureau initially accused Mr Khan of sale, consumption and purchase of banned narcotics but during the hearing prosecution admitted that no banned substances were found on him.
However, the prosecution argued that they recovered incriminating WhatsApp chats from his mobile phone that linked him with what they claimed was an international nexus of drug peddlers and traffickers.
Mr Khan’s lawyer, Satish Manshinde, has reiterated that the alleged WhatsApp conversations did not “indicate any drug trafficking”.
Mr Khan’s father, Shah Rukh Khan, 55, is one of the biggest film stars in India and has remained a largely uncontroversial figure in his three decades of public life.
He has not made any public statement on his son’s arrest, and did not attend the hearings amid a raft of slanderous claims about the star family on social media.