2 Morinda men walk free as police delay sending drug samples to testing lab
Narcotics Control Bureau requires all drug samples to be deposited in labs within 72 hours of seizureUpdated: Nov 01, 2019 00:21 IST
With police failing to deposit samples of contraband within the mandated 72 hours of seizures, two men arrested in 2017 with heroin walked free on Thursday, as the court acquitted them citing “unexplained delay” in depositing samples for chemical examination.
“It is clear that false implication of accused cannot be ruled out,” said Ashima Sharma, judicial magistrate, Kharar, while acquitting Amanjot Singh, 30, and Jagtar Singh, 30, of Morinda. Their accomplice Varinder Singh, 28, of Ropar is a proclaimed offender.
Samples of the 3 gram heroin seized from the acquitted men were sent by the police to a laboratory for chemical examination after 20 days instead of the 72 hours mandated by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
“Why there was a delay of 20 days in depositing the samples remains unexplained. When the sample was taken to the forensic science laboratory in Phase 4, an objection was raised and the sample was returned. Now, what that objection was, has not been disclosed by the prosecution, thus creating suspicion,” observed the court in the order.
On January 29, 2017, police received a tip-off that Jagtar Singh, Varinder Sigh and Amanjot Singh were procuring drugs from Chandigarh and Manimajra and were on their way to Kurali in a white Swift car. They were arrested with 3 gram heroin, two lighters and one aluminium foil paper.
“As per the provisions under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the liability is made out only if the accused are found in possession of contraband without any licence. No conscious recovery was made out from said accused persons,” observed the court.
The court also pointed out a number of loopholes in the story put forth by the police. “Investigating officer has stated that the ruqa was scribed at 5pm by him whereas as per the testimony of munshi of the police station, the case property was deposited with him at 4pm. Meaning thereby, the case property was deposited prior to the scribing of ruqa. Thus, it cannot be said that the recovery was effected from the present accused persons.”