Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, has been granted bail three weeks after his arrest in the drugs-on-cruise case.
He will spend at least one more night in prison as his team can apply for his release only after the Bombay High Court’s formal order tomorrow.
Aryan should be back at his home by Saturday.
Aryan Khan, 23, was taken into custody on October 3, hours after drug raids on a cruise ship party by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)
Aryan Khan’s father Shah Rukh Khan, 55, is one of India’s biggest and most-loved movie stars.
The star son has been in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail since October 8 and had been denied bail twice.
Aryan Khan’s friend Arbaaz Merchant and model Munmun Dhamecha have also been granted bail.
“Aryan Shah Rukh Khan has ultimately been released on bail by the HC. There was no possession, no evidence, no consumption and no conspiracy, right from the moment when he was detained on October 2. Nor is there anything as of now. We are grateful to Almighty that our prayers were accepted by Justice Nitin Sambre who granted bail to Aryan. Satya Meva Jayate,” senior lawyer Satish Maneshinde and Aryan Khan’s legal team said in a statement.
Aryan Khan’s lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, former Attorney General of India, had argued in court that no drugs were found on him and that the grounds for his arrest were flimsy.
After two bail rejections, Mr Rohatgi said the arrest was wrong and infringed on his constitutional guarantees.
He also told the court that the case against Aryan was built entirely on two-year-old WhatsApp chats that were “irrelevant” and had nothing to do with the cruise.
“These are young boys. They can be sent to rehab and they need not undergo trial,” Mr Rohatgi said.
The NCB had claimed that Aryan was part of a conspiracy and that his WhatsApp chats revealed his involvement in illicit drug dealings.
The case ignited a debate over whether Aryan Khan’s incarceration was justified, given that no drugs were found on him and there were no signs of use. Social media has been flooded with messages of support, with many calling the arrest a witch-hunt.
In the past few weeks, scores of people showed up at the Khans’ Mumbai home, “Mannat”, in solidarity, holding up posters and messages for SRK.
The bungalow usually has scores of fans waiting for a glimpse of SRK, especially on his birthday – November 2.
Within the film industry, many such as Hrithik Roshan, Suniel Shetty, Preity Zinta, Salman Khan, Farah Khan and few others, have openly voiced their support.
(Agencies; Picture shows Shah Rukh Khan with his team of lawyers, who helped procure Aryan’s bail)