Drug lab scam: three accused still at large

Despite the Punjab and Haryana high court's denial of anticipatory bail to Dr Rajwinderpal Singh, the main accused in the drug lab scam, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) has failed to arrest him. A co-accused, Mohit, a Class-4 employee, had surrendered on December 18, while two others, lab technician Lekh Raj and junior assistant Rajesh Mishra, are still at large. Mohit is in judicial custody after his two-day police remand.
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Dec 23, 2013 09:33 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, Chandigarh

Despite the Punjab and Haryana high court's denial of anticipatory bail to Dr Rajwinderpal Singh, the main accused in the drug lab scam, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) has failed to arrest him.


A co-accused, Mohit, a Class-4 employee, had surrendered on December 18, while two others, lab technician Lekh Raj and junior assistant Rajesh Mishra, are still at large. Mohit is in judicial custody after his two-day police remand.



Dr Rajwinderpal, whose anticipatory bail plea was dismissed by the HC on December 13, and the others are accused of faking sample reports during chemical analysis of drugs seized from across the state. The analysis was done at the government health department's lab at Kharar. The FIR was registered on November 11 under the Prevention of Corruption Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code at the Mohali VB police station.

VB officials confirmed that they had detected 236 lab test reports where samples of seized drugs such as opium, smack and heroin were found 'negative'.

The VB had on December 21 submitted its "status report" on the case in a sealed cover in the high court. The court had entrusted the bureau with the inquiry into fake chemical analysis reports of drug samples on October 11.

VB sources told HT that some more names in the health department and also from the police had surfaced while probing the connivance of cops with department employees.

Not suspended yet

The health department is yet to suspend the four accused in the case. Principal secretary, health, Vini Mahajan reiterated that the department was yet to take any action. "Since the matter is under investigation (at the VB level), we are awaiting its outcome," she said.

Transfer of control

The file on transferring control of the Kharar lab from the health department to the home department, as per the high court order, is lying with deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, who also holds the home portfolio.

Senior officials in the home department had cited the court's direction, besides the principal secretary, health, Vini Mahajan's consent, for the transfer of the lab's control while forwarding the case to Sukhbir earlier this month, sources said.

The move came in the wake of the high court's December 6 order, in which justice Paramjit Singh observed that "no decision has (so far) been communicated to the health department by the home department with regard to taking over the control of the state chemical laboratory".

The principal secretary, health, had submitted in the court that the possibility of tampering with samples of seized drugs under investigation could not be ruled out.

"All the material is sent for analysis by the police to the medical officer for preparing the reports. The investigating agencies are under the control of the home department," the health secretary had submitted.

"There is a problem regarding the maintenance of secrecy of samples as these are forwarded by the police authorities by mentioning the FIR number and the detailed particulars of the case. The same are retained in the state chemical laboratory as such. Although a board has been constituted by the lab examiner to ensure that the sample is not tampered with before analysis, the possibility of its tampering during transit i.e. time period between the initial point till reaching the lab, cannot be ruled out," the principal secretary had submitted in the high court.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A special correspondent, Prabhjit Singh is the bureau chief at Bathinda. He specialises in investigative stories, with rural reporting being his passion.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Representational Image (Pexels) 

    How Bengaluru Police tracked down a man who stole a car via an OLX ad

    In a bizarre case, Bengaluru Police tracked down a 36-year-old who had stolen a car on the pretext of taking it for a test drive. MG Venkatesh Naik (36) from Amruthanagar in the city and Bagegpalli in Chakkaballapura district met Ravindra Elluri (47), a resident of the Coffee Board Layout and an engineer on January 30. I turned out that Naik who met Elluri at 7PM was using a stolen phone. Naik confessed to the crime.

  • Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta.

    BJP kicks off drive to ‘expose AAP model of development’ in Delhi

    Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta kickstarted the party's 'Pol Khol campaign' against the AAP government in Delhi on Sunday from the Rajinder Nagar assembly constituency, where a bypoll is due to be held. Gupta said, “This is to expose Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal...failure to deliver on promises in the past seven years.” Despite repeated communication, AAP couldn't be reached for comments.

  • (Picture for representation)

    81-yr-old man held for ‘digital rape’ of minor in Noida

    An 81-year-old man was arrested by Gautam Budh Nagar Police on Sunday for alleged 'digital rape' with a minor over seven years. Police said the suspect was living with the 17-year-old victim as her guardian. Police said the man, an artist by profession, had an office in Himachal Pradesh and one of his workers sent his minor daughter to live with him, so that she could get an education.

  • Organisers denied there were lapses on their part. (Representative Image)

    Stampede during religious function in Madhya Pradesh's Bina, 17 injured

    At least seventeen devotees were injured after a stampede broke out during a religious programme in Bina town of Madhya Pradesh's Sagar district on Sunday. The mishap occurred as devotees rushed to get coconuts, which were being distributed after the function came to an end, officials said.

  • Fire engulfs Trikuta hills, abode of Vaishno Devi shrine, in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. (PTI)

    Fire in Trikuta forest range in J&K’s Reasi

    A fire was reported in the Trikuta forest range, the abode of the famous shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Sunday. The fire started deep in forest much away from the revered shrine on Saturday night, causing massive damage to forest wealth, the officials said.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, May 16, 2022