Advocate Satish Maneshinde appeared for Aryan Khan in the cruise ship drug case from the magistrate court, right up to stage where the Bombay High Court granted bail to Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son.
Maneshinde has previously represented celebrities like Sanjay Dutt, Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty.
In this brief chat with Bar & Bench's Neha Joshi, Maneshinde reveals how Khan should have been granted relief by the lower courts itself. He also speaks about how thousands of people who are unable to afford lawyers are languishing in jails.
Q. What is your first reaction to the bail verdict?
We are elated with the order and we will cherish these moments. We have been carrying on this fight since October 2. There was no recovery, no possession, no evidence, no consumption, no conspiracy and no conscious possession. Aryan Khan ought not have been arrested at all in the first place.
Q. Do you think the fight for bail should have reached the High Court?
Aryan Khan was produced (before the magistrate) on October 3 and he should have gotten bail in the first instance. The magistrate decided to exercise his jurisdiction and heard the matter the whole day and then realised that he had no jurisdiction. It was a complete waste of public time.
The Sessions Court, which heard us for two whole days, could have pronounced the order on same day, but waited for five days. Hence, we had to approach the High Court immediately.
Q. What do you think is the impact of lower courts' refusal to grant bail aside from the liberty aspect?
I feel that the two lower courts have failed to exercise their jurisdiction. Such reluctance by lower courts has burdened the legal system and has led to pendency of cases in higher courts. Something which was ought to have been appreciated on the first day itself by the lower court but was not, led to this three-tier fight.
Aryan Khan is fortunate that his father could get for him a legal team which he thought was best in the country. There are thousands of people in this country who cannot afford a lawyer, who are illiterate, poor and neglected. Our country and judicial system must think of such people and correct this.
If a star's son suffered for 25 days with nothing (no evidence) against him, one can imagine what would happen to a poor man.
Q. What do you think ails our courts?
The condition in courts is terrible - there is no infrastructure, there are not enough personnel to man the system. The judicial system is the most neglected system. In our country, efforts should be made to strengthen the judicial system and make it vibrant.
Even after years of independence, there is cry for food, shelter and justice. The country has been vibrant and progressing. To progress further, we need to have a strong judicial system.
Q. Could you shed some light on the legal team's work?
The order (by the Sessions Court) was declared at 2:45 pm (on October 20) and we approached the High Court immediately. Our team ensured that pleadings before the High Court are filed with no wastage of time as soon as the order was pronounced by Sessions Court.
We enhanced our team with Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who was kind enough to come from London; he was with us for 3 days.
Throughout the fight, our approach from day one has been the same. All that we needed was for the judge to accept our point of view, because all our issues were identical from the first day.