5 years on, man held with drugs acquitted
While one of the officers had said the drugs were seized from the left pocket of the man’s trousers, the other claimed that they seized the drugs from the right pocket.Updated: Apr 28, 2019 02:40 IST
The special court under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act acquitted a 50-year-old, who was held on charges of drug peddling, as two officers, who were present when he was nabbed, made contradictory claims in court.
While one of the officers had said the drugs were seized from the left pocket of the man’s trousers, the other claimed that they seized the drugs from the right pocket. The accused in the case, Ismail Dhamskar, was arrested on March 21, 2014, from Bandra railway station by the Anti Narcotic Cell (ANC) of Mumbai Police. The prosecution said Dhamskar was selling opium to some people. After the officers searched him for drugs, they found 30 grams of opium in his front left pocket, the prosecution claimed. However, when the case came up for trial, the prosecution failed to prove charges against Dhamskar.
Noting that there are contradictions in the prosecution’s case, the court said, “It is crystal clear that on the point of exact location of the substance on the body of the accused, the evidence of material witnesses is inconsistent.”
Apart from the three police officers, the prosecution examined two more witnesses, who had carried the seized contraband from the ANC’s possession to the chemical analyser’s office.
The court also said the prosecution was given enough opportunity to prove the case, but independent panch witnesses, who were present when the officers recovered drugs from Dhamskar, were not examined.
With this, the court also noted that the officers had failed to follow the prescribed procedure stated in the NDPS Act.
The court questioned the entire process of seizure of contraband from the accused and said, “the seizure being defective in the eyes of law, the theory of prosecution regarding such seizure of substance strictly as per the provisions of the law, from the possession of the accused cannot be relied upon.”