By K. Manoggnya Reddy

Published On: November 08, 2021 at 11:06 IST


The officials of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 2nd, 2021, seized drugs from a cruise ship, which was on its way to Goa. Among the individuals arrested were actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan.

The Special NDPS court on October 20, 2021, turned down the bail plea of Aryan Khan, who was arrested along with two others in connection with the cruise drugs case by the NCB.

Aryan Khan, who was detained on October 2, 2021; was placed in the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai on October 8, 2021. The order passed by Judge VV Patil has noted that there is prima facie evidence against Aryan Khan, the son of actor Shah Rukh Khan.

“Cruise ship drugs case”

During the questioning of drug dealers, the officials of the NCB revealed that they found out that some of the passengers of the cruise ship could be in possession of illicit substances.

Established on this information, about 20 NCB officials boarded the cruise (ship Cordelia) disguised as passengers.

The crew suspected that some of the passengers were using drugs, after confirming that the said facts were true they arrested them immediately. The captain was then asked to return to the port, the international terminal at Ballard Pier in South Mumbai. The passengers were taken to the NCB office. The NCB has revealed that it has seized various drugs such as cocaine, mephedrone, ecstasy, and MDMA from the cruise. Some passengers have reportedly sewn special pockets on their clothes to hide the drugs to escape the security checks for the sake of smuggling the goods. One of them reportedly hid the drugs in the heel of the shoe.

The passenger pass for cruise ships entering the Ballard Pier is through the Green Gate. This gate is manned by the CISF and the Bombay Port Trust.

The operators of the Cordelia cruise ship, Waterways Leisure Tourism, cannot carry out security checks on passengers. Only a welcome message can be sent to passengers aboard the ship which states that narcotics were not allowed aboard.

To host any parties or events onboard, cruise ships must obtain a license. After the issue was brought up to the authorities, Director-General of Shipping Amitabh Kumar; it was discovered that the ship did not have such a license.

“This cruise ship Cordelia is not licensed under the Merchant Shipping Act. The operators had applied for the licence. There were some deficiencies and the licence was not given,” he said.

In response to the query regarding the operation of the ship, Juergen Bailom, the CEO of Cordelia, said that the company was not involved in the incident in any way and that the ship was chartered for a private event by a Delhi-based event company.

He then continued to state that – As a company that values wholesome entertainment, Cordelia Cruises is extremely disappointed and outraged by the events that occurred onboard one of our ships. In response to the incident, the company has condemned the acts and will not tolerate any similar actions in the future and regarding this incident, they extend full support and cooperation to the authorities.


  • NCB busts a rave party on Cordelia Cruise off Mumbai Coast on its way to goa. In the said raid details Aryan Khan-Son of Sharukh khan, Arbaaz Khan Merchant, and Six others. – October 2.
  • Aryan Khan’s detention is then confirmed by Sameer Wankhede, the Zonal Director of NCB. Aryan Khan was then officially detained for drug-related abuse. On the same day along with the other 7 accused he was taken for a medical test. – October 3.
  • The First hearing of the bail plea of Aryan khan and the other accused took place in which Aryan khan’s lawyer argues that he was in any kind of possession of the said narcotics. NCB also seeks an extension of custody until the 11th of October. Court then sends the accused to the custody of NCB until the 7th of October. – October 4.
  • Mumbai court sends the accused to 14-day judicial custody. – October 7.
  • Aryan khan was then sent to Arthur Road prison in Mumbai. –  October 8.
  • Postponement of bail hearing until Oct 13th was passed and the NCB was directed to file its reply. – October 11.
  • Court then concluded and reserves its verdict on Aryan Khan’s bail and Aryan to remain in jail until October 20. – October 14.
  • The court proceeds to reject the bail application of Aryan Khan. – October 20.

Rejection of the Bail Application

The metropolitan magistrate’s court rejected the bail applications of Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant, and Munmun Dasecha. It was concluded that the plea was not maintainable before it. The matter was said to be not decided based on the facts and merits. The court rejected the NCB’s plea to extend the custody of the three and five other individuals. Instead, it ordered the eight to be sent to judicial custody. The six men and two women who are accused were taken to Arthur Road and Byculla women’s jail respectively.

The six men and two women who are accused were taken to Arthur Road and Byculla women’s jail respectively.

The Additional Solicitor General-Anil Singh argued that the magistrate’s court did not have the power to entertain the bail pleas since it can only be exclusively dealt with by the special NDPS court.

In its reply, the NCB said that while the accused were being remanded to judicial custody, the magistrate’s court had also stated that the case would be handled by a special court that has its jurisdiction. As per ASG Singh’s statements and as per the NDPS Act the bail of the accused in such cases can only be decided by the special court which will also conduct the trial.

The defense lawyers argued that since the court had the power to hear their remand, it could also decide their bail pleas. During the hearing, the court heard the arguments on both the maintainability and then the merits of the applications.

The bail applications of individuals were then rejected by the Additional Metropolitan Magistrate R. M Nerlikar.

Order of Rejection of Aryan Khan’s Bail by CMM

The bail plea of Aryan Khan, the son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, was continued to be heard by a court on October 27th. His lawyer Mukul Rohatgi had argued that the NCB did not find evidence of illicit substance consumption by medical examination or even in physical possession and that the WhatsApp chats recovered were from 2018. According to him, even if the accused is conscious of his or her possession, the punishment is one year. He also noted that Aryan was not charged with section 27A of the NDPS Act as it was only a one-time event, However, he was accused of conspiracy under Section 29 of the Act.

This case is not specific. It is mainly based on the charge of conspiracy to cover section 27A of the NDPS Act so that the bar for bail under section 37 of the NDPS Act can be rejected.

Mukul Rohatgi, who is the lawyer of Aryan Khan, said that there is no conspiracy and that there was no abetment as per the facts being presented he was being accused of being in a master-servant relationship which is not true, therefore I am not admitting to any kind of consumption or possession.

The Bombay High Court on October 28th, 2021, granted bail to Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant, and Munmun Dhamecha, who were arrested.


K. Manoggnya Reddy is a student of BBA.LLB at ICFAI Law School. She is the kind of person who is hardworking not to achieve dreams but to collide with the reality. She is a typical student who likes to keep being positive most of the time. Achieving good results is her motivational drive. She is excited to improve and correct her mistakes. She took up law studies to achieve a stable career and now thriving to achieve the respect that she deserves from the society and to give the service the society deserves in return.

Edited by: Aashima Kakkar, Associate Editor, Law Insider


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