HC acquits four for for carrying charas

Judge finds discrepancy in sample

The Bombay High Court has acquitted and quashed an order convicting a 65-year-old man from Jammu & Kashmir and three others from Mumbai in 2012 for carrying some charas.

On March 3, 2010, an assistant police inspector ) received a tip-off that Abdul Rehman alias Haji Ali was going to supply charas to his agents in Mumbai. The informer told the police that Bandu alias Bunty Udanshive, Mohammed Afzal alias Afzal Chouda and Zakir alias Zakir Chikna alias Zakir Chota were Mr. Ali’s drivers and agents in Mumbai.

The information that Mr. Ali would be coming to supply charas to his customers/agents was conveyed to the Anti Narcotics Cell. The exchange of contraband below Jogeshwari flyover was intercepted and a field testing kit found it to be charas. Two samples of 50 grams each were taken in plastic pouches. Soon thereafter the accused were arrested and charges framed, and the trial commenced.

The defence said Mr. Ali had come to Mumbai for medical treatment and was picked up from the airport and the others were apprehended from their houses. It said there was discrepancy in the quantity (weight) of the sample sent to chemical analyst (CA) and the quantity (weight) received by the CA. The CA received six to seven grams less than 50 grams in each sample, and hence the possibility of the articles being tampered with could not be ruled out.

On March 5, 2012, all four were convicted under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and directed to pay a fine of ₹1 lakh.

Delivering her verdict Justice Revati Mohitedere noted, “There is a discrepancy in the quantity of sample sent to the CA and what was received by him … The packets do not mention the number, nor does a prosecution witness depose about finding of labels on it. As the discrepancy, which is a serious infirmity, is fatal to the prosecution, the appellants (convicts) are entitled to benefit of doubt.” The Bench thus quashed the order of conviction and acquitted all four.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:58:23 PM |

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