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Court rejects Fardeen's plea, calls it premature

Fardeen and an alleged drug dealer Nasir Khan were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau on May 5, 2001.

india Updated: Jun 09, 2006 20:30 IST

A sessions court which rejected actor Fardeen Khan's petition to amend the complaint against him in a cocaine seizure case on June 5, had observed that the legal issue pleaded for by the actor was premature and should be raised at the time of trial and not at this stage.

Fardeen and an alleged drug dealer Nasir Khan were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau on May 5, 2001 and nine grams of cocaine were recovered from Nasir.

Both were inside Fardeen's car when they were intercepted.

Fardeen told NCB sleuths that he was going to purchase only one gram of cocaine, the claim that was endorsed by Nasir.

Since punishment is lighter for seizure up to two grams under the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), the then sessions judge had granted Fardeen bail.

Fardeen's lawyer Ayaz Khan wants to take the same defence, and to avail of it, he filed a petition before the special court urging for a direction to NCB to specify that the actor will be tried only for seizure of one gram -- which he intended to buy -- not for nine grams recovered from Nasir.

But Special Judge PN Deshmukh categorically held in his order, which became available two days back, that "At this stage it cannot be held that involvement of accused no 2 (Fardeen) is only with reference to one gram of cocaine as it would be a matter to be considered while recording evidence" (i.E at the trial).

NDPS act provides that if quantity of cocaine is upto two grams, the accused could be sentenced to 6 month's imprisonment or put on probation.

Also, if it is the first time and offender admits that he/she is an addict, he/she could be sent to detoxification centre instead of prison.

First Published: Jun 09, 2006 20:30 IST