Bhang Cultivation: Court directs probe against Revenue officials for being in league with cultivators

Pulls Up Tehsildar For ‘Ignoring Facts, Giving Clean-Chit To Accused’


Srinagar, Dec 25: Directing a probe against Revenue Department officials for being in league with bung cultivators, a Court in south Kashmir’s Shopian district rejected the bail application of 13 persons accused of cultivating Charas in the district. The Court said “they cultivated the charas in collusion with the Revenue officials.”
 The Principal District and Sessions Judge Shopian, Raja Shoukat Ali Khan while dismissing the bail application of the accused, directed the police to proceed against the officers/ officials of the Revenue Department “who have aided the accused in Bhang cultivation.”
 “In totality of the circumstances governing the facts one cannot rule out that the particular officers are hand-in-glove with the accused persons, which certainly needs a probe,” the court held.
 It said: “The Investigating Agency shall not hesitate in proceeding against any officer, how high he may be in position, if he is found involved with the drug mafia or making efforts to save such unscrupulous elements and create any type of hurdle in fair investigation vis-à-vis the present case.”
 The court was miffed over a letter of Tehsildar Zainpora submitted by the counsel of accused wherein he (Tehsildar) had exonerated the accused of the charges of bhang cultivation. The court disapproved of the conduct of the Tehsildar.
 The Court said the raid on Melhora village for destruction of bhang crop was a joint venture of Police, Revenue and Excise agencies. The Executive Magistrate 1st Class Zainpora along with the Patwari concerned of the area who had identified fields of the accused persons were also part of that operation.
 “It is Patwari concerned who has identified the fields of the accused where from bhang samples were taken and sealed. It is executive magistrate first class Zainpora in whose presence the seizure memos were prepared and samples were taken and the same bear his seal and signature,” the court held.
 The court observed: “How come the Tehsildar Shopian ignore all these facts and issue a clean chit to the accused persons.”
 Expressing displeasure, the court said  the  Tehsildar  went  ahead (on wrong foot)  by addressing a letter to SHO Zainpora for necessary action.
 “What necessary action the Tehsildar is expecting from the SHO in light of contents of the letter is certainly to save the accused from the brunt of the investigation,” the court said.
 The court observed that the petitioners had invoked the jurisdiction of the court in terms of section 497 A of CrPC for releasing them on Anticipatory Bail saying which is extraordinary in nature and can be exercised with total guard and circumspection and not in a random and routine manner.
 “For anticipatory bail the petitioner has to satisfy the court that he is being victimized on some rivalry grounds and that he is innocent and the case registered against him is frivolous,” court said.
 The prosecution submitted that the petitioners had a criminal record pleading some of the them were already involved in offences of NDC Act.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 26 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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