When the Esplanade court in Mumbai assembled today to hear three bail applications of Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, the atmospherics show an upbeat mood in the camp of defendant counsels, especially after rejection of police custody on Thursday.
But as soon as ASG Anil Singh took over the podium to argue NCB's case, a palpable tension spreads in the defendant team.
While senior advocate Maneshinde quoted Stephen Muller's judgement to counter Rhea Chakraborty judgement, ASG said, Rhea judgement is binding on the court for the following reasons:
- In Stephen's case, SC's Baldev Judgement was not referred to.
- Rhea's judgement has been the most recent one, and where HC ruled all NDPS cases are non-bailable.
The Legal Spat
While the legal counsel of SRK's son Aryan Khan, Satish Maneshinde, took a leaf out the every law book to drive home the point that bail plea can be heard of an accused, where no seizure has been made, and who had no bad antecedent, ASG Anil Singh leading the prosecution team stood firmly on the 'maintainability' ground.
As Maneshinde quoted the criminal procedure code and many court judgements to reason out for granting bail to Aryan Khan, ASG quoted SC 1999 TK Latika judgement to first decide on the maintainability of the bail plea filed in the magisterial court.
Maneshinde then put a poser: Why is the Union of India so agitated in this case where no possession is there.
Here comes the point-blank reply of ASG: No this you cannot say.
Also, when ASG remained firm on first deciding on the maintainability of bail application in the learned court, Maneshinde said, "You cannot dictate to the court"
During the argument, the court said, "Accused have filed plea with all details including law and jurisdiction."
ASG then replied, "But that is not the procedure, May I not point out the correct procedure."
ASG's Point Blank Argument
In order to run down the argument of Aryan Khan's counsel, to segregate the cases and grant bail to SRK's son, the ASG quoted the ruling passed by the same court of Magistrate RM Nirlekar.
ASG said, "In Arman Kohli case, this court has held the view that his bail plea was refused on the ground that he is arrested in a case with other accused who have larger quantities, even though he doesn't have."
Then ASG drew similarities to Aryan Khan's case, arguing how here the segregation criteria can be applied?
"I am just saying this application is not maintainable here because there is a Special NCB court where they can approach for bail, " ASG argued.
ASG's Reply To 'Football Match' Jibe
Arguing Aryan Khan's cases yesterday, Satish Maneshinde had said, "The prosecution is talking about a chat between Aachit and Aryan. The chat was about foot ball match."
ASG today said, in the football message he referred to, Aryan is talking of bulk quantity!
NCB High On Conspiracy Angle
When the Magistrate asked, "What is his nexus with the present case?
NCB advocate Advait Sethna replied, "From one Mohak Jaswal, came the name of Abdul Kadir. And from him was revealed Igwe (a Nigerian), who is a peddler.
The court then asked: From the persons already in custody, who are denying conspiracy, then how are you linking the future? I am Asking are you limiting this investigation to the present cruise or going beyond
NCB counsel replied, "These sections have an element of conspiracy. This is part of the entire thread. It is up to the Court to decide whether to keep same or bifurcate."
Arguing on conspiracy angle, ASG said, "First connection, then involvement, everything is being investigated. Suppose the persons are released, then it is very likely of interference in witness and tampering of evidence. This is all about connection, conspiracy and link."
"After hearing all submissions and applications, the applications are not maintainable before us and hence rejected," reads the order