Munmun Dhamecha – an accused in the drugs-on-cruise case – was released from the Byculla Women’s Jail in Mumbai this morning, three days after the Bombay High Court granted her bail and a day after her lawyers submitted relevant documents to jail officials.
“She has been released from the jail after completion of all legal formalities. We are now going to file an application before the NCB (Narcotics Control Bureau) seeking permission to allow her to go Madhya Pradesh, as she hails from there,” her lawyer Ali Kaashif Khan told news agency PTI.
Ms Dhamecha, reportedly a model, is one of three main accused in a case that involves Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, who left jail yesterday after spending 22 days in prison.
Aryan’s release was also delayed; this was because of the need to get hard copies of his release papers into the jail’s ‘bail box’, as opposed to electronic copies being shared; an archaic system that contrasts sharply with the basis of the case against him and his co-accused – WhatsApp chats.
On Thursday the High Court granted Mr Khan, Ms Dhamecha and the third accused, Arbaaz Merchant, bail after two lower courts rule otherwise.
Mr Merchant has yet to be released; his father, Aslam Merchant, told NDTV last week that the atmosphere inside the Arthur Road Jail (where Arbaaz and Aryan were held) was “depressing”.
Bail was granted pursuant to 14 conditions being met, including the surrender of passports, a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each and at least one surety of a similar account. All three were also told they could not leave Mumbai without the permission of the investigating officer.
All three have also been told to present themselves at the NCB’s Mumbai office every Friday.
Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha were arrested October 3, a day after the NCB raided a cruise ship docked off the Mumbai coast and claimed to have seized drugs, including 2.6 grams of charas from Mr Merchant’s shoe, that were allegedly meant to be consumed onboard.
The anti-drugs agency listed Aryan Khan as ‘accused no. 1’ and has referred to dated WhatsApp conversations as evidence that the 23-year-old is involved with an “international drugs cartel”.
Aryan Khan’s lawyers have argued that no drugs were found on their client and that there is no concrete evidence of “conspiracy” to procure drugs.
The NCB’s case against Mr Khan and the others is itself under a cloud after allegations of payoffs against lead officer Sameer Wankhede, who is being investigated internally.
With input from PTI