Acting on a petition filed by IPS officer Saji Mohan, who is under trial for possessing 37kg of heroin, the Bombay high court last week halted the on-going cross-examination of accused-turned-approver Vicky Oberoi in the high-profile narcotics case.
Mohan had approached the court after a special NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act court rejected his plea for a copy of Oberoi’s statement that was recorded by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) during the investigation.
According to the prosecution case, the Juhu wing of the ATS had on January 17, apprehended Vicky Oberoi and Rajeshkumar from Oshiwara and seized 1.85kg of heroin from them.
A week later, ATS sleuths arrested Mohan, who is currently at Byculla Jail and recovered a bag containing 12kg
of heroin and another consignment of 25kg from a room at Naigaon.
The ATS completed its investigation and filed a charge sheet against the three. Later, Oberoi submitted a plea to the special NDPS court seeking pardon by offering to become an approver. The prosecution supported this and the court accepted his plea.
The trial court recorded Oberoi’s statement thereafter.
“The applicant /accused is entitled to a fair trial and therefore the prosecution agency should provide copies of all relevant papers to him,” states the plea. “If the witness Vicky has given a different story or has improved his story in such a statement, the said statement assumes great importance in the context of the trial,” it adds.
Justice Abhay Thipsay has posted the Mohan’s plea for further hearing on January 28 and deferred any further cross-examination of Oberoi till then.