A Mumbai court Tuesday found actor Fardeen Khan guilty of attempting to buy cocaine in 2001 but dropped charges that he possessed over two grams of the drug. Yet the actor could face six months imprisonment.
“Charges of attempting to buy cocaine have been framed against Fardeen. Sessions judge Govind Sanap will pronounce the sentence Nov 2,” Fardeen’s lawyer Ayaz Khan told IANS.
“I have been charged only with attempting to buy cocaine. Charges pertaining to possession of cocaine have been dropped,” the actor told reporters outside the court.
“This is something we have been appealing to the court for the last 10 years. I am extremely happy about how things are going,” he added.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had arrested Fardeen, 37, in Juhu in northwest Mumbai May 5, 2001 on charges of possessing cocaine.
Nasir Shaikh, who allegedly sold him the drug, and Tony Gomes, who allegedly supplied it to Shaikh, were also arrested.
Charged under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, Fardeen claimed he had tried to buy only one gram of cocaine as against the NCB claim that nine grams of the drug were found on him and Shaikh.
The special court framed charges against Fardeen under NDPS Act provisions which carry a maximum punishment of six months and fine up to Rs.10,000 or both.
Against the other two accused, the court framed charges under provisions punishable with imprisonment between one and 10 years and a fine that may extend up to Rs.one lakh.
According to the NDPS Act, less than two grams is considered a small quantity. An accused can face up to six months in prison for possessing a small quantity of the drug.
Fardeen, the actor-son of the late Feroz Khan, took to acting in 1998 and has starred in over 20 films including “Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya” and “No Entry”.