Millennium Post

Court wants an agency other than police to handle seized drugs

A Delhi court has mooted the idea of having an agency other than the police to store contrabands drugs after their seizure and to send them for forensic tests to rule out chances of their tempering or delay in sending them to laboratory.

Special Judge Narinder Kumar mooted the idea while sentencing two Delhi residents, Sucha Singh and Manjeet, caught with 15 and 16 kgs of contraband ‘ganja’ respectively, to three years in jail and with a fine of Rs 15,000 each.

The court gave the idea response to the arguments by the two convicts during the trial that the police might have tempered with the seized contraband during the period it had kept it in its custody.

While discounting their fears, the court, however, said, ‘..this court feels that in order to avoid any such delay and to rule out possibility of any kind of tampering with the case property...provision can be made for deposit and storage of the case property i.e contraband, with any department other than the police department, soon after its recovery/seizure.’

The court said the police is often accused of tampering with the seized drug samples due to delay in dispatching them to the forensic labs and it could be avoided if a department, other than the police, is set up for its proper storage.

‘Such other department may be required to deal with/ handle the case property for the purposes of its safe storage and dispatch of samples to laboratories for analysis,’ the judge said, adding, ‘but it is for the legislature, government and concerned authorities to take steps in this regard.’

The court’s order came in the case of the duo, who were arrested with non-commercial quantities of ‘ganja’ on 17 September 2010 at Sarai Rohilla railway station.

The court, in its order, had noted that the police generally does not send the contraband samples to the forensic labs immediately.

‘Case property is initially deposited in malkhanas (store rooms) of respective police stations and after sometime the samples of contraband are dispatched to laboratories for analysis. Generally, it has been found that samples are not sent to laboratories at the earliest, for one reason or the other,’ the court said.

The court, however, held both the accused guilty under the provisions of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act rejecting their contentions regarding possibility of tampering with the contraband samples.

It observed the seized contraband samples were properly sealed and that they were not tampered.
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