An Indian magistrate has rejected the release on bail of Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan’s son, who was arrested this week in a drug raid on a luxury cruise ship.
The rejection came after the state narcotics agency expressed fear that Aryan Khan could tamper with evidence and influence witnesses.
Magistrate RM Nerlikar ordered the 23-year-old detained for two weeks pending an investigation of the case.
Khan and seven others were detained on Saturday when narcotics agents raided a party and seized drugs on the cruise ship off the Mumbai coast. They were formally arrested on Sunday.
A total of 18 people have been arrested so far in the case.
Khan’s lawyer, Satish Maneshinde, told the court the narcotics agency did not find any drugs on Khan and allegations that he was in contact with dealers were untrue.
The narcotics agency said it had evidence in the form of WhatsApp messages that Khan communicated with drug dealers on a regular basis. It did not specify whether any drugs were found in his possession when he was detained.
Government lawyer Anil Singh said Khan’s release could harm the case. The agency said Khan and the others were “regular users of contraband”.
“They are influential persons. There is a chance of tampering with evidence,” the New Delhi Television news channel cited Mr Singh as saying.
“Had it been one person with a small quantity, it would be different. We have a lot of material. Protection like bail at this stage will hamper the investigation.”
Shah Rukh Khan, 55, is one of the world’s most famous actors and is known as the King of Bollywood.
He has been acting in Bollywood films for nearly three decades and has starred in more than 105 movies. He has more than 42 million followers on Twitter and also owns the Kolkata Knight Riders team, which plays for the Indian Premier League, the world’s richest cricket competition.
In the last few years, several Bollywood stars have been linked to drug cases.