Bollywood Star Shah Rukh Khan’s Son, Aryan Granted Bail In Drugs Case

Members of the media wait for the release of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, who is arrested in connection to a drug case, after a bail hearing outside Arthur Road Jail for Coverage of in Mumbai on October 28, 2021. PHOTO: SUJIT JAISWAL / AFP

 

The son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was granted bail Thursday three weeks after being arrested during a cruise ship drugs bust in a case that has gripped India.

Aryan Khan, 23, the eldest son of the actor dubbed the “King of Bollywood”, was detained in early October alongside 19 others after the Narcotics Control Bureau raided a ship set to sail from Mumbai to Goa.

He was given bail Thursday along with two others by the High Court of Bombay on their fourth attempt.

He would likely be released on Friday or Saturday, his lawyer and India’s former attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi told reporters.

The case has grabbed headlines across India, dominating front pages and receiving non-stop coverage on news channels.

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Some have claimed that Khan, a Muslim, is a victim of religious persecution in a country governed by a Hindu-nationalist party.

Social media has been flooded with messages of support for the family, with many calling the arrest a witch-hunt.

Fans gathered outside the elder Khan’s seaside mansion in Mumbai to show solidarity and the family have also received support from several Bollywood A-listers.

The officer investigating the case, Sameer Wankhede, is facing an internal probe within the narcotics bureau and another by Mumbai police over allegations of bribery and extortion related to the case.

Rohatgi told the court Aryan Khan should be granted bail as no drugs were found in his possession and prosecutors had no proof of any consumption.

The narcotics agency opposed bail, arguing that the investigation revealed an international drug connection and had found drug-related WhatsApp chats on his phone.

The high-profile case comes a year after the suicide of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput and the arrest of his ex-girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, for allegedly buying him drugs.

Her arrest sparked a wider probe into drug use in Bollywood, with superstar Deepika Padukone and others hauled in for questioning.

Shah Rukh Khan, whose career spans three decades, is arguably Hindi cinema’s biggest and most recognisable star of the modern age.

AFP

Fans Jubilant As Bollywood Star Salman Khan Freed On Bail

Indian Bollywood actor Salman Khan waves to fans after reaching home at Bandra in Mumbai on April 7, 2018, following his release from Jodhpur Central jail after an Indian court granted him bail.
PHOTO: Sujit JAISWAL / AFP

 

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan left prison on Saturday after being granted bail so he can contest a five-year jail sentence for killing rare antelopes.

Hundreds of frenzied fans awaited the 52-year-old as his vehicle sped through the gates of Jodhpur Central Jail, where the action star had spent two nights after being sentenced on Thursday.

Some tried to cling to the sides of his sports utility vehicle and scores of motorbikes followed Khan as he was driven at high speed to Jodhpur airport to a waiting chartered jet.

He flew to Mumbai where more crowds — with many men emulating Khan’s distinctive hairstyle and clothes — gathered outside his luxury apartment, dancing to songs from his films.

Khan appeared on the terrace of his apartment with his family and waved to his fans.

A judge released Khan, one of the world’s highest-paid actors, in return for bail and sureties totalling 100,000 rupees ($1,500). He cannot leave India without court permission.

Visually impaired girls from the Andh Kanya Prakash Gruh school for the blind celebrate the release of Bollywood actor Salman Khan from Jodphur Central jail following a court decision to grant bail to the actor, in Ahmedabad on April 7, 2018.

 

Hordes of fans outside the court erupted in celebration on hearing the result, beating drums and chanting Khan’s name.

Khan did not attend the bail hearing but prosecutor Mahipal Bishnoi said the actor must appear in court again on May 7.

Khan’s army of fans and the Bollywood elite were stunned by the court sentence in the 20-year-old case.

Khan had denied shooting dead two rare antelopes known as black bucks on a hunting trip while filming a movie in 1998.

The court found him guilty while acquitting four other actors.

The actor enjoys a cult-like status and is affectionately known by the Hindi name “bhai”, or “brother”.

Relief and anger

“Prayers of millions worked,” said television actor Arjun Bijlani in a tweet.

But while his fans and producers of costly upcoming films may be relieved, Khan still faces a major courtroom drama.

Throughout the multiple cases, eyewitnesses have stated they saw Khan firing a gun in October 1998.

Animal rights group PETA said it was disappointed with Khan’s bail.

“While Salman Khan gets to go back home to his movie star life for now, black bucks were made to pay the highest price, with their lives,” Manilal Valliyate, chief executive of PETA India, said in a statement.

Khan has accused Rajasthan’s forest department of trying to frame him. His lawyers claim the black bucks died of natural causes such as overeating, insisting there was no evidence they were shot.

Four other Bollywood stars — Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam Kothari — who were also accused in the case were acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Khan remains one of Bollywood’s biggest draws despite the off-screen drama, starring in more than 100 films and television shows.

He finished second behind Shah Rukh Khan in the 2017 Bollywood earnings rankings. Both the Khans are among the world’s top 10 best-paid actors.

The Bollywood heartthrob’s latest blockbuster “Tiger Zinda Hai” (Tiger is Alive) collected some $85 million worldwide.

Khan has nearly $90 million riding on his projects in coming months with at least three films in the pipeline, analysts say.

A director of one of Khan’s upcoming films “Race 3” expressed relief at his release.

“I am happy that he has got bail. After working with him so closely I have become a huge fan of him, not only as an actor but also as a human being,” Remo D’Souza told the Press Trust of India.

“Almost 90 percent of the shoot for (the film) is over and the remaining portions will mostly be shot in India.”

AFP

Court Grants Bail To Bollywood Star Salman Khan

FILE PHOTO: Indian Bollywood actor Salman Khan (C) arrives at the airport in Jodhpur on April 4, 2018, ahead of a verdict in the long-running blackbuck poaching case.
PHOTO: SUNIL VERMA / AFP

 

An Indian court on Saturday granted bail to Bollywood superstar Salman Khan.

The bail was granted Khan so that he can contest a five-year prison sentence for killing endangered wildlife nearly two decades ago.

Khan, one of the world’s highest-paid actors, was imprisoned on Thursday after a court found him guilty of killing rare antelopes known as blackbucks on a hunting trip while shooting a movie in 1998.

Mahesh Bora, a lawyer for Khan, told reporters a judge had signed a bail form. Media reports said the 52-year-old action movie star should leave Jodhpur Central Jail before the end of the day.

AFP