Court acquits man in NDPS case, cites ‘doubtful, perfunctory probe’

Court acquits man in NDPS case, cites ‘doubtful, perfunctory probe’
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A local court here Tuesday acquitted a man who was arrested in a case under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The court observed that the investigation into the case has been conducted in a "perfunctory manner with a scant regard" to the established principles of law.

After hearing prosecution and defence counsel, Muhammad Abdullah Pandit, the court of first additional sessions judge, Srinagar Rajinder Sapru said the prosecution has not only failed to show there was compliance to the mandatory procedural safeguards incorporated under the Act but has also failed to explain the "doubtful patches" emerging in the prosecution evidence.

While referring to various High Court and Supreme Court judgments, the court said it was settled that convictions cannot be awarded on the doubtful testimonies of witnesses and serious lapses on the part of the investigating agency.

"Having said that what is discernable, from the facts and evidence on record, is that the investigation in this case has been conducted in a perfunctory manner with a scant regard to the established principles of law," court said.

The court said each and every lapse in complying with mandatory provisions of law was required to be explained by prosecution before claiming a conviction of the accused.

"But in this case it is evident that the investigating agency has failed to do what was required of it, keeping in view the provisions of NDPS Act and so the prosecution has failed to connect the accused with the commission of alleged offence," the court said.

It said the evidence brought on record at the most may be taken to give rise to a suspicion that offence alleged may have been committed by the accused. "Suspicion, however, strong cannot take place of the cogent proof," the court said.

"As a result, the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Hence, benefit of doubts left in the prosecution case is given to the accused. The chargesheet as such fails and therefore, is dismissed and consequently, the accused is acquitted of the charges," the court said.

It observed there was nothing on record to show officer in charge of Parimpora police station had complied with the mandate of law which surely has cast a serious doubt in the mind of the court regarding transparency and fairness of procedure adopted by the investigating officer.

As per prosecution, in 2017, the accused was coming from Parimpora side towards Batamaloo ferrying passengers in his sumo.

During searches of his vehicle by a police naka party, a gunny bag was found in the vehicle which on opening was found containing Charas.

The prosecution in order to buttress the charges against the accused examined nine prosecution witnesses of the list of 10 witnesses.

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