A special court here has permitted model Munmun Dhamecha, an accused in the 2021 Cordelia cruise drugs bust case, to travel to Thailand for her photo shoot.
Dhamecha was arrested in October 2021 along with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan and others after the cruise ship was raided by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) off Mumbai coast.
While Dhamecha and other accused are currently out on bail, the probe agency has dropped its case against Aryan Khan.
Special court judge B Y Phad, hearing cases filed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, last week allowed Dhamecha to travel to Thailand from January 26 to 31 as sought by her.
In the order that was made available on Wednesday, the court directed the accused to submit her itinerary before travelling abroad. It also asked her to mark her attendance before this court as soon as she returns from abroad.
Dhamecha, through her advocate Shirish Shigwan, had submitted that she is from a middle class family and modelling was her only source of income.
After a long time, she has received an assignment through her friend, for photo shoots at Phuket in Thailand. Therefore, it is necessary for her to travel abroad, her lawyer submitted.
However, the NCB, represented by special public prosecutor Amit Munde, opposed her plea, saying that the application lacks bona fide.
The offence is serious and if the applicant is permitted to travel abroad, she may abscond and it may delay the trial. Therefore, it may be rejected, he said.
The court after hearing both the sides allowed the plea.
Meanwhile, Dhamecha’s discharge application is pending before the court.
In the plea, she pleaded parity with the case of Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, who was given a clean chit by the SIT set up the NCB.
Her plea has been opposed by the probe agency on the ground that “there is evidence to show she was a consumer of drugs”.