Arbaz Merchant (File Photo)
Arbaz Merchant (File Photo)

Arbaz Merchant's arrest in drugs-on-cruise case was illegal, his lawyer tells Bombay High Court

ANI | Updated: Oct 28, 2021 00:01 IST

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], October 28 (ANI): Senior counsel Amit Desai, who is representing Arbaz Seth Merchant in the drugs-on-cruise case, told the Bombay High Court that his client's arrest was "illegal".
"The arrest was illegal. I point out a Supreme Court judgement which says the arrest is an extremely strong measure and should be exercised only to prevent the accused from committing another crime or preventing him from running away from the law," Desai argued in the court on behalf of Arbaz.
He said there was "no conspiracy thing" at the time of arrests.
Presenting the arrest memo, Desai argued, "Arrest memo clearly indicates that they were not arrested for conspiracy but for possession or consumption. The conspiracy was added later. A special court was misled by the prosecution that they were arrested for conspiracy."
Refuting the allegation of consumption of drugs, Desai said that there was no mention of the allegation of "use" (of drugs) in the arrest memo.
"There was no mention of the allegation of "use" (of drugs) in the arrest memo. It talks about personal consumption only so the arrest memo itself demolishes the conspiracy thing," he argued.
"The statement in the chats that they were going on a cruise to have a blast was actually about consumption only, at maximum. As (Mukul) Rohatgi pointed out that this is a case of aborting. There was a plan which didn't happen," he added.
He also said that they were arrested for an offence that actually did not happen on the cruise earlier this month.
"There was a medical test to ascertain the consumption. We were arrested for an offence, under Section 27 of NDPS Act, which didn't take place," Desai argued on behalf of Arbaz Merchant.

Former attorney general of India Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Aryan Khan in his bail application in Bombay High Court, requested the court on Wednesday to go through the arrest memo again as there were no charges of conspiracy at the time of the arrest.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had earlier invoked charges relating to possession and consumption of drugs and later also added the charges of conspiracy in the case.
Kashif Khan who is representing accused 3 Munmun Dhamecha, said his client was invited by one person on the cruise for his "professional obligations".
"I am a fashion model and do stage shows and ramp walks. I was invited by one person on the cruise for my professional obligations," Khan argued for Munmun Dhamecha.
Lawyers of accused Aryan Khan, Munmun Dhamecha and Arbaz Merchant concluded arguments on their bail applications before Bombay HC on Wednesday.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh for NCB will respond to the arguments tomorrow.
During arguments on Tuesday, Rohatgi had argued that there was "no case of possession of drugs" against him and that he was arrested wrongly. He also said, "it was a fit case for bail".
At present, Aryan Khan is lodged at the Arthur Road Jail along with Arbaaz Merchant. Munmun Dhamecha is at Byculla women prison.
An NCB team busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa on October 2. A total of 20 people have been arrested in the case. (ANI)