Selective Amnesia: Was Aryan Targeted for Political Reasons?

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Chennai:

Although no drugs have been recovered from Khan, 23, he has been held at Mumbai Central Prison since October 8, having been repeatedly denied bail until a court from Mumbai accepts his appeal on Thursday. Khan, along with two other defendants, were due for release on Friday evening, the court said. Thursday’s decision comes after two lower courts dismissed bail requests. The high-profile case is being discussed across India, with supporters of the famous descendant claiming that he is being unfairly targeted by authorities because of his father’s fame.

NCB investigators allege Khan is part of a larger conspiracy to procure drugs from an international network. Khan’s lawyers have raised questions about the legality of lower courts repeatedly denying bail on drug trafficking charges because no drugs were found and the main evidence was based on WhatsApp chats.

Diagram of B’wood Drug Arrests

In recent years, Bollywood stars have often found themselves caught up in drug-related cases. In a case similar to Khan’s, actress Rhea Chakraborty was arrested in September 2020 for allegedly buying drugs for her boyfriend, actor Sushant Singh Rajput. In both cases, defendants with ties to the film industry have been repeatedly denied bail. And in both cases, investigators relied heavily on WhatsApp chats from the phones of those arrested to make their case and claimed the defendants were part of a larger conspiracy to distribute drugs. “No celebrity is greater than the law. But the law must always be scrupulously observed, regardless of the status of the accused,” Rebecca John, senior lawyer at the Supreme Court of India, told DW.

“In that case, if Aryan Khan was not Shah Rukh Khan’s son, he may well have been released on bail a long time ago,” John added. “In this sense, the law has been abused to incarcerate a young man in express violation of constitutional protections,” said John, one of India’s most esteemed lawyers, famous for handling many high-profile cases. . Vikas Pahwa, also a senior lawyer, has suggested that Aryan Khan is paying the price for his celebrity status. “When there is no recovery [of drugs], there is no proof of consumption. There is a blatant abuse of process, ”Pahwa told DW. Some say a trend is emerging in India in which authorities are refusing bail in high-profile cases.

“What seems to be more and more accepted at the jurisprudential level is that the refusal of release on bail is seen in a way as a sign of judicial righteousness”, told DW Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi, lawyer at the Indian Supreme Court.

“Whether or not legal procedures were followed may not be the issue here, rather it is the use of the contemplated bail discretion that is at the root of the problem,” Ayyubi added. .

Authorities targeting Khans?

Shah Rukh Khan is one of India’s most famous celebrities and has been called the “King of Bollywood”. Khan is also a member of the Indian Muslim community, which has led some to believe that there is a political motive behind his son’s arrest. “The target is not Aryan Khan, it is Shah Rukh, who has dominated the country as the greatest celebrity the nation has ever seen,” rights activist and educator Saira Shah Halim told DW. “There is a motive to tarnish the mark of Shah Rukh and then dismantle the other Khans by making it look like they have fallen from grace,” she added. Halim said she believed Aryan Khan’s case was part of a larger ploy to reap political dividends by making a famous Muslim family look bad.

This article has been supplied by Deutsche Welle


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