A Phase 11-resident who was accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of possessing 400 ml cough syrup and 254 capsules was acquitted on Thursday because of inconsistencies in police investigation.
Ramandeep Singh, who was arrested on 9 September, 2012, has been acquitted of all charges.
The prosecution held that the accused was going from the Phase-11 Market to Bawa White House Chowk, when the police checked him and found the contraband.
However, sub-inspector Harbhinder Singh contradicted this during cross-examination and said they had laid a naka near Bawa White House Chowk. Recovery witness and head constable Satinder Pal Singh also echoed this.
As the statements were contradictory, the accused was given the benefit of doubt and acquitted.
As per the prosecution’s account, judge Tarsem Mangla noted, the accused was arrested and the contraband was seized on 22 September, 2012.
The samples were sent to the Central Forensic Science Labaratory (CFSL) a month later on 22 October.
Citing that the delay had not been explained by the police, the judge pointed out that there was a possibility that the seized samples were tampered with.
In another irregularity, constable Manpreet Singh, when questioned whether the seals on the sample he carried to the CFSL were intact, said he had not checked them.
Proceeding from this, the additional district and sessions court, SAS Nagar, held that Manpreet’s statement further established that the prosecution tampered with the samples during the delay in sending it to the Central Forensic Science Labaratory.
Maintaining this, the court acquitted the accused.
The judge said that during the course of investigation, a plan of the recovery site was prepared. As per prosecution’s account, the contraband was seized near Bawa White House Chowk, while the plan does not depict the spot at all, said the judge. “I find the investigation tainted. It has been conducted in a shoddy manner,” said the judge.