New Delhi: A Delhi court has expressed concern over incidents of Intelligence Officers of NCB keeping the contraband substance with themselves and directed the Director General to hold an appropriate inquiry over the mismatch in the weightage of drugs seized and produced before it.
"It would be expedient to say that there is need for NCB to conduct an inquiry into the matter as to how the weight of the two samples have increased significantly and how the weight of the remaining property has decreased at the time of its production in court than what was actually seized and weighed at the spot," Special Judge (NDPS) Deepak Garg said.
The court said, "It would not be out of place to mention here that in many other cases, this court has observed that the intelligence officers who are conducting the search and seizure, deposit the case property with themselves in malkhana being the Incharge of Malkhana...The higher officials of NCB need to ponder on this aspect as well."
It directed the DG of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to hold an appropriate inquiry into the matter so that "person responsible for this misfeasance is identified and action is taken accordingly and such incidents do not take place in future..."
The court's observation came while acquitting three accused persons-Jata Shankar Shah a Nepal resident, Jitender Prasad, a Bihar resident and Anirudh Bhardwaj, a Haryana resident, of the charges of criminal conspiracy in acquiring, possession and transporting of 18.5 kg of cannabis.
It said that the only inference that can be drawn in view of the statements and the evidence is that prosecution has not been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
The court noted that two samples collected from the accused on the spot after chemical analysis weighed only 21.4 gm but it became 43 gm when produced in court and similarly the case property which weighed 18.450 kg became 17.778 kg.
Advocate PK Dubey, appearing for accused Jata Shankar, contended that the contraband which was allegedly recovered from the accused persons has not been produced in court and there is vast difference in the weight of the case property produced in the court and the contraband which was allegedly recovered from the accused persons.
The court also accepted the contention of defence counsel and said that "prosecution has no explanation for the same.
"The suspicion regarding tampering with sealed case property in the backdrop of the prosecution failure to give any explanation for the same, grows stronger."
According to prosecution, on a secret information a team of NCB arrested three persons on October, 2010 for allegedly posessing and transporting 18.5 kg of cannabis near Rohtak bus stand in Harayana.
All the three accused persons were booked under various provisions of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act on a complaint of an NCB officer.
However, during the proceedings, all the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.