Drugs-on-cruise case: HC grants bail to alleged drug peddler arrested in October 2021

Mumbai, May 7 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted bail to an alleged drug peddler in the 2021 Cordelia cruise drugs seizure case of Mumbai, noting there was uncertainty in the seizure of the contraband which prima facie may lead to his acquittal.

A single bench of Justice N J Jamadar granted bail to Abdul Kadar Shaikh, a senior corporate executive who is in jail for more than two years, on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh, while noting his long incarceration and right to speedy trial.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan was also arrested in the high-profile case by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and later granted bail by the HC, but he was eventually not named as an accused.

The allegation against Shaikh was that he had supplied drugs to some of the co-accused in the case. The NCB claimed it had seized contraband from Shaikh at the time of his arrest.

The HC, in its order, noted that prima facie there was discrepancy in the description of the contraband which was allegedly seized from Shaikh and sample collected therefrom, and the sample received for analysis by the CFSL (Central Forensic Science Laboratory).

“As the identity of the sample is in the corridor of uncertainty, and the complicity of the applicant is primarily based on the seizure of the contraband from the applicant, a prima facie case to hold that eventually the applicant may not be found guilty of the offences can be said to have been made out,” Justice Jamadar said.

The court also took note of the fact that the trial in the case would not be over soon and Shaikh has been incarcerated for over two years.

“A long period of incarceration without a realistic prospect of expeditious conclusion of the trial renders the detention of the accused as an undertrial prisoner foul of the right to speedy trial; a facet of right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the HC noted.

Shaikh had approached the HC after his bail plea was rejected by a special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) in November 2023.

Shaikh, 30, who worked as a senior executive with a logistics firm, was arrested from a bus stop opposite a mall in suburban Juhu on October 3, 2021, a day after the NCB raided the Goa-bound cruise ship, Cordelia, off the coast of Mumbai on suspicion of drugs on-board.

He allegedly had in his possession of 2.5 grams ecstasy pills and 54.3 grams mephedrone (MD), according to the NCB.

Share this article
Shareable URL
Prev Post

LS polls: About 70 per cent turnout in second phase in Karnataka for 14 seats

Next Post

Over 63 pc polling in third phase; clashes in West Bengal; SP alleges irregularities in UP

Read next