Shoddy probe? Drug cases fall flat in Chandigarh local courts

Accused being acquitted or getting bail one after another for lack of evidence or cops’ failure to follow proper procedure

punjab Updated: Mar 12, 2017 15:50 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh courts,Chandigarh polics,NDPS Act
Defence contends police press wrong charges.(HT File photo)

With just three months into 2017, there have been several instances of local courts pulling up the Chandigarh Police for carrying out shoddy investigation into drug cases since they have been falling flat one after the other.

Most of those booked in such cases have either been acquitted or granted bail as the police failed to follow the proper procedure the under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act while carrying out search on the accused, it has been found.

On Wednesday, the court of additional district and sessions judge granted bail to 30-year-old Manish Verma who was arrested for allegedly carrying 50-gm charas and 1,680 capsules ( spazma proxiyvn). He was booked under sections 18 and 20 of the NDPS Act.

The defence counsel had contended that the police had pressed wrong charges against him as the capsules didn’t come under the NDPS Act and were instead covered under the Drug and Cosmetics Act. Manish Verma had already spent 126 days in jail before the court took a note of the police’s shoddy investigation in the case.

On February 20, the court of district and sessions judge Ashwani Kumar granted bail to a 37-year-old woman accused of carrying 520 gm ganja. The contraband, when weighed in court, turned out to be 620 gm. The accused has already spent 14 days in jail.

Several court judgments have highlighted as how the UT police failed to show any documents/evidence to hold these accused of drug peddling guilty and they were increasingly implicating the same people.

Amarjit Singh was acquitted of all charges on March 1 in a case involving alleged recovery of 13-kg opium in 2013. While two others were held guilty, the court of additional district judge JS Sidhu observed that since the prosecution failed to establish or produce any proof of the fact that drugs belonged to Amarjit and that the other accused’s statements weren’t enough to convict him under the NDPS Act.

The same court on Tuesday acquitted Ranjit Singh (20) in a drug case after the policemen who deposed before the court gave contradictory statements. The defence counsel had contended that Ranjit was falsely implicated since the police did not follow the procedure properly.

In January this year, Kabbari Ram, who was arrested in November 2016, was granted bail after the drug inspector told the court that the salt present in the seized capsules didn’t come under the banned category.

First Published: Mar 09, 2017 12:35 IST