A Mumbai sessions court on Tuesday framed charges against actor Fardeen Khan for attempting to buy cocaine in a 2001 case, dropping against him the graver charge of possessing over two grams of the drug that carried a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail. The offence with which he has been charged now carries a maximum punishment of six months' imprisonment and fine up to nearly Dhs750 or both.
"Charges of attempting to buy drugs have been framed against Fardeen," said the actor's lawyer Ayaz Khan adding that Special Judge Govind Sanap adjourned the hearing in the case till Nov 2.
The actor is naturally relieved. "I have been charged only with attempting to buy drugs. Charges pertaining to possession of drugs have been dropped," the actor told reporters outside the court yesterday.
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. Against them, the court framed charges under provisions punishable with imprisonment between one and 10 years and a fine that may extend up to Dhs750000.