September 2, 2021 10:11:44 am
A Delhi court has pulled up the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for failing to probe further into a drug smuggling case, observing that the lapses “do not appear to be mere negligence or error of judgement but appear to be a deliberate act ”.
The observations were made in a judgement passed by Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Kumar Jain on August 25 in which he convicted a Tanzanian woman for smuggling methamphetamine
The woman, Betty Rame, was convicted under sections 22 (c) and 23 (c) of the NDPS Act. The court will soon hear arguments on sentencing.
As per the prosecution, on April 2, 2018, the convict was on her way to Goa when she was intercepted by an NCB team that got information that she was peddling methamphetamine. The narcotics were found in a false cavity in her suitcase.
The woman’s lawyer had argued that there were various material lapses on part of the investigation in this case.
The court noted that the NCB did not investigate the phone numbers of the accused persons who had sent her to the airport.
The court noted that this “material infirmity in the case of NCB creates definite doubt over the intent of NCB officials to trace the entire syndicate and the persons involved in the said crime.”
“There are number of lodges mentioned in the present case where the accused stayed however, there is nothing in evidence or on record to show any steps taken through accused to identify the said places or to identify the other culprits of this case,” the court said.
“However, these lapses by NCB Investigating officers, do not appear to be mere negligence or error of judgement but appear to be a deliberate act of not investigating the matter bonafidely against other accomplices who are members of international syndicate. The drug trafficking of the present kind is a very serious offence particularly this drug methamphetamine,” the court said.
It held that “it is the duty of this court to not ignore those lapses but to issue directions to initiate appropriate disciplinary proceedings against the erring investigating officers” and ordered the NCB director to “initiate requisite disciplinary inquiry against erring investigating officer.”
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