It could be a case of misuse of power where innocent people were apprehended or a case of faulty investigation where documents were fabricated, resulting in acquittal of three people despite recovery of 9kg of opium milk and 3.5kg of opium powder in a case registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. A local court has recently found that the police registered the FIR before the search was carried out or even before the recovery of drugs.
This has happened for the second time when the court commented about registering an FIR before the occurrence of crime.
State vs Praveen Kumar
While acquitting three people in the State vs Praveen Kumar case, the court of additional district and sessions judge Amit Sharma on August 20 commented that “the most important document in the present case is the notice under section 42 of the NDPS Act” in which “FIR number has been mentioned” and investigating officer inspector Karambir Singh, the then ACP Rajbir Singh, and other prosecution witnesses “tried to cover up and explain under what circumstances the FIR number came to be mentioned on notice” but they could not succeed.
The notice under section 42 of the NDPS Act empowers an officer for carrying out search, seizure and arrest without warrant. The officer who has to carry out the search has to reduce the secret information into writing and has to inform his senior officer within 72 hours.
“On the other hand, one of the prosecution witnesses (inspector Karambir) admits that secret information was not reduced into writing by him,” said the court which found that there were contradictions in the statements of police personnel insofar as mentioning of FIR number as well as preparation of copies of notice of section 42 were concerned.
The police had been claiming that the FIR was registered after the recovery of drugs on January 26, 2012, at Sector 14 police station.
The police also failed to prove that the Santro car, from which the drugs were recovered, was owned by one of the accused. The recovery of mobile phones and 9kg opium milk from a house in Sector 15 on the disclosure of the accused could also not be proved as the police failed to prove that the house was possessed by them.
However, the main accused in the case, Praveen Kumar, had secured bail from the Punjab and Haryana high court after misrepresenting facts on July 27, 2012.
When allegations of cash for bail were made, the high court cancelled the bail on September 18, 2012. He was re-arrested on January 22, 2013.