“It is an absurd and false allegation."
Aryan Khan has been denied bail for the third time amid his ongoing drug case.
The 23-year-old son of Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan made the plea during a special court hearing in Mumbai.
Khan was detained on Sunday, October 3, 2021, and is currently being held at the Arthur Road jail in the city.
He previously applied for bail at the Esplanade Court in Mumbai on Friday, October 8, 2021, but this was denied at the time.
Instead, Khan was remanded to 14 days of judicial custody as India’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) advised against his release.
The NCB said that it would negatively affect the case, alleging that he could tamper with evidence and influence any witnesses.
Khan then attended his second bail hearing on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, and his application was once again rejected by the court.
Two other suspects involved in the case, Arbaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, were also denied bail during the latest hearing.
Khan was arrested after a Cordelia Cruises ship making its way to Goa was targeted in a raid.
Various substances including cocaine, MDMA and Mephedrone are all believed to have been consumed aboard the ship.
The NCB said that they had received a tip-off that a party was being held on the cruise. They boarded the ship, posing as passengers.
Khan has denied all of the allegations against him.
One of his lawyers, Satish Maneshinde, said there was “no evidence that he had consumed any drugs”.
Amit Desai, another lawyer who once represented Salman Khan, said his client hadn’t even checked into the cruise yet.
He said: “The allegation of illicit trafficking is inherently absurd.
“This boy who has nothing, he was not even on the vessel.
“It is an absurd and false allegation.”
However, celebrity phone numbers and drug-related chats were found on the phones of those accused in connection with the case.
The numbers appeared to have been written in a coded format on one of the suspect’s phones, according to the Times of India.
Chats between both parties also revealed that many Bollywood actors and their families were delivered large quantities of narcotics.
The court said Khan’s WhatsApp texts showed that “he is dealing in illicit drug activities of narcotic substances on a regular basis”.
Therefore, they said, it is unlikely that he would not commit similar offences if released on bail.
The court order added: “This is not the first time when Aryan Khan is involved in illicit drug activities.
“There is ample evidence in the form of WhatsApp chats of Aryan Khan with foreign national and unknown persons dealing in drugs.
“Incriminating material… shows the nexus of Aryan Khan with suppliers and peddlers.
“There is reference of hard drugs and bulk quantity in the WhatsApp chats which cannot be meant for consumption, with unknown persons who are suspected to be part of international drug racket.”
While various celebrities have come out in support of Khan, his parents have not yet made a public statement.
The case has also ignited a political row with the Maharashtra Government, known as the Shiv Sena, accusing the NCB of targeting specific individuals.
Meanwhile, the nationally ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have stakes in the ‘Bollywood drugs mafia’.
Khan’s legal team have now approached the Mumbai High Court to make a bail request.
The news comes after #NoBailOnlyJail recently trended on Twitter, calling for Aryan Khan to remain behind bars.