Two lawyers raise grievance before HC judge for giving priority to Aryan Khan bail plea



MUMBAI: Two advocates on Tuesday raised grievance that the bail plea of Aryan Khan, an accused in the NCB’s drugs-on-cruise case and son of superstar Shah Rukh Khan, was being given preference over several other cases pending for months before the Bombay High Court.

The advocates – Subhash Jha and Amrish Mishra – raised the grievance orally and claimed to have filed applications seeking to intervene in the Aryan Khan bail plea.

“We are supporting the prosecution (NCB) case (and opposing bail plea). But our grievance is more that this court is giving preference to Aryan Khan’s bail plea even as there are several hundred such applications pending before this court,” Jha claimed.

There are many people who are languishing in jail for months and even years, he said.

Justice N W Sambre, who is hearing Aryan Khan’s bail plea, said such complaints were not in good taste.

“You (Jha) have appeared before me on several occasions and know for a fact that I sit till 7.30 pm to complete all the matters listed for the day,” Justice Sambre said.

The judge then directed his staff to call out matters from the remainder of the daily list (of matters) and asked lawyers present in the courtroom if they have any urgent matters.

Once other pending matters were adjourned, Justice Sambre resumed hearing on the bail pleas of Aryan Khan and his co-accused in the drugs case – Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha.

The intervention applications filed by some social workers claimed they have information with regard to Aryan Khan and alleged tampering of evidence by some influential persons in the case.

Justice Sambre said he would consider the intervention applications which have been filed at the end of the hearing.

The HC judge will continue hearing the bail applications of Aryan Khan and his co-accused on Wednesday.

Unprecedented crowding in the courtroom of Justice N W Sambre ahead of hearing on Aryan Khan’s bail plea in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday prompted the judge to leave the dais for a few minutes.

The small courtroom on the first floor of the HC building was chock-full of lawyers and reporters before the afternoon session started.

The court was to hear the bail application of Aryan, actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son who was arrested in an alleged drug seizure case on October 3, listed at serial number 57.

Looking at the swelling crowd, Justice Sambre told his staff to ask the lawyers who did not have any matter listed immediately in his court to leave.

“COVID-19 safety protocols are not being followed in this crowd. We need to follow the SOP (standard operating procedure),” the judge said.

He then got up from his chair and stepped out into the corridor at the back while the court staff and police personnel requested people to leave.

The reporters were also asked to go out, but were let in again after Justice Sambre returned a few minutes later.

The courtroom then remained almost empty till Aryan Khan’s application was called out a little after 4 pm.

Again, crowd swelled, and Aryan’s counsel Mukul Rohatgi, who had commenced argument, had to stop every few minutes due to the noise.

In the melee outside, the latch on the courtroom’s door was broken, a court staff said later.

The police had to shout that the judge had barred those not related to the case from entering.

Senior counsel Amit Desai and advocate Satish Maneshinde told the court that their juniors and clerks were not able to enter through the crowd.

The judge said there was not much he could do about the situation, but advocates’ clerks could be allowed to bring in case papers from the entrance in the rear, meant for the entry and exit of judges.

But Desai and Maneshinde said they would manage, and after a while case papers were brought inside.

The hearing on the bail plea went on till 6 pm and would continue on Wednesday afternoon.

Later, the court staff were seen fixing the broken latch.

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