Madurai Bench of Madras HC seeks details on storage and disposal of contraband

A view of Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, in Madurai. File   | Photo Credit: ASHOK R

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the Special Courts dealing with cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act to inspect places where the contraband were stored to ascertain whether they were intact and in safe custody.

The court also sought to know the total number of applications filed by the prosecuting agency seeking permission for the destruction of the contraband, whether a register was maintained for storage and disposal of contraband, and how it was reviewed and monitored. Justice B. Pugalendhi directed all the Special Courts under the High Court Bench jurisdiction to file a report after conducting the inspection. Earlier, the court sought details on the number of pending cases before the Special Courts.

The court passed the common direction during the hearing of a batch of anticipatory bail and bail petitions filed by the accused who had illegally possessed large quantities of ganja. The court took a serious view of the offence. The approximate quantity of ganja involved in the cases filed in one month was 3,847.92 kg. This whopping quantity of ganja exposed the volume of ganja that was in circulation within a few districts, which was shocking and warrants serious consideration, the court said.

During the course of the hearing, serious allegations were levelled against the police. It was said that cases were foisted by circulating ganja available in police stations by mixing it with horse dung and saw dust. Some of the petitioners were named as co-accused without any materials and only through confession statements. In some cases, though large quantities of ganja were seized only a lesser number was recorded on file, it was submitted.

Under the NDPS Act there are specific provisions for seizure and sampling of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, its storage and destruction. In spite of the provisions available, the petitioners alleged there were procedural lapses. The court sought details on the contraband stored in safe custody and the total number of applications filed by the prosecuting agency seeking permission for the destruction of the contraband. The case was adjourned till September 21.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 4:10:33 AM |

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