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Bathinda drug seizure: Inquiry slams DSP for dereliction of duty, SSP gets clean chit

The accused was released from the Bathinda prison on April 19 after the Bathinda police presented an "inquiry report" prepared by the DSP and endorsed by the SSP for the quashing of the FIR.

punjab Updated: Oct 05, 2017 10:54 IST
Prabhjit Singh
Prabhjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Bathinda
Bathinda drug seizure,Inquiry slams DSP,dereliction of duty
The accused in the case, Gobind Gupta, a drug trader was released, only to be rearrested, after HT reported that the two officers were under the scanner for releasing Gupta.(Representative image )

Almost four months after Bathinda inspector general of police (IG) MS Chinna ordered an inquiry into the conduct of SSP Navin Singla and DSP Gurjit Singh Romana in the Goniana drug seizure case of April this year, the SSP has been given a clean chit. Senior IPS officer DIG Ashish Chaudhary who held the inquiry zeroed in on deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Gurjit Singh Romana for ‘dereliction of duty’.

The case
  • Gupta, the accused caught with drugs, was booked on April 10 this year under Section 22 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act at the Nehianwala police station near Bathinda. However, on April 20, the court of additional district and sessions judge LK Singla granted him bail on the basis of an inquiry report from the DSP. The SSP had endorsed the report that had sought the cancellation of the FIR.

The accused in the case, Gobind Gupta, a drug trader was released, only to be rearrested, after HT reported that the two officers were under the scanner for releasing Gupta. The drugs seized included 800 tablets of alprazolam and 270 of gardenal barbitone – both habit-forming drugs.

Chaudhary had submitted his report two weeks ago, before his new posting at the Punjab police headquarters in Chandigarh.

Why was accused released

The accused was released from the Bathinda prison on April 19 after the Bathinda police presented an "inquiry report" prepared by the DSP and endorsed by the SSP for the quashing of the FIR. The DSP had quoted a drug inspector of the health department that the tablets were "not habit forming" and Gupta was wrongly arrested.

What next

"I have now sought final explanation of the DSP before taking action (against him) under the (Punjab service) rules," IG Chinna told HT. The DSP is bound to reply within a stipulated time period — by mid-October, he added.

Chinna had earlier marked an inquiry into the release of the drug case accused to Faridkot SSP Nanak Singh, who had held the SSP and the DSP guilty for submitting the cancellation report for the quashing of the FIR in the court that led to the release of the accused.

The IG then ordered for filing of the challan in the said case and the re-arrest of the accused and forwarded the Faridkot SSP's inquiry report to Bathinda DIG Ashish Chaudhary to specifically look into the individual roles of the erring DSP and the SSP in the matter.

Drug inspector walks free

The health department’s drug inspector Seshan Mittal, who was quoted in the DSP’s 'FIR cancellation report' as wrongly declaring the seized consignment not in the category of the banned or habit-forming drugs, still moves scot-free. Bathinda DC Diparva Lakra, when contacted, said, “The action against the drug inspector is to be initiated by either police officers who cracked the case or by health department authorities.”

First Published: Oct 05, 2017 10:53 IST