Month after staffer’s arrest in drug haul, NCB wants retest of seized samples

On January 12, 25-year old NCB sepoy Pravinta Wasnik was arrested along with an alleged drug dealer, Gulam Azad.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai | Published: March 6, 2017 3:25 am

OVER A month after a Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) staffer was arrested in an alleged drug haul, the agency has approached a special court seeking a retest of the seized drug, which was previously believed to be Mephedrone. The development comes after none of the three samples sent to the Central Forensic Laboratory in Hyderabad showed traces of the party drug popularly known as ‘meow meow’. On January 12, 25-year old NCB sepoy Pravinta Wasnik was arrested along with an alleged drug dealer, Gulam Azad. They were booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

The NCB claimed that a total of 919 grams of a white crystalline powder purported to be Mephedrone was seized from three places. At least 196 grams were allegedly recovered from Azad in person, 495 grams from a Honda Activa registered in the name of Wasnik and another 228 grams from the government quarter in Wadala allotted to her.

According to the application filed by the NCB before a special NDPS court, they received a report from the CFSL Hyderabad on February 10, stating that Mephedrone was not detected in any of the three samples. It said that one sample — from the drug found on Azad — has detected another drug, Methamphetamine. The other two show aspirin, a pain relieving medicine.

The NCB submitted before court that there was a ‘strong reason’ to believe that the samples may also contain Mephedrone or other contraband. “As the applicant has a strong reason to believe that the samples may also contain either Mephedrone or other contraband as revealed by the respondents (accused), the applicant should ascertain the exact identification of the recovered white crystalline powder purported to be Mephedrone,” the plea states.

The NCB has sought permission for the second batch of samples to be sent to the forensic science laboratory in New Delhi to ascertain the exact identification of the white powder.

Advocate Ayaz Khan, representing Wasnik, last week opposed the plea stating that it was against a Supreme Court order. Azad’s advocate is likely to submit his arguments on Monday, after which the court will take a decision on whether to permit a retest.

Meanwhile, since her arrest, Wasnik has made two applications before the court seeking to retract a statement she has allegedly made before the NCB when she was in their custody. Wasnik has told the court that she was being victimised after she had complained about another official of the NCB due to which she was allegedly transferred earlier to Ranchi.

Through her lawyer, Wasnik submitted a social media chat between her and an official of the NCB showing him allegedly threatening her with consequences for her complaint.

The NCB had claimed that a vigilance team had been keeping an eye on the activities of Wasnik as she was in touch with Azad. The NCB claimed that after they got a tip-off about her presence in Mumbai along with Azad, they arrested the duo.

sadaf.modak@expressindia.com

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