A special court has issued a show-cause notice against the investigating officer in an alleged drug trafficking case of 2018, seeking reasons as to why action should not be taken against him for attempting to destroy prosecution evidence.
The case pertains to action by the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) against five men allegedly attempting to export 100kg of 1-Phenethyl-4-Piperidone — the precursor to opioid Fentanyl, a controlled substance — to Mexico without valid clearance. In its chargesheet filed last month, the ANC had claimed the accused had used a Tata Nexon car to transport four plastic drums of 25 kg each of the controlled substance from a godown in Bhiwandi to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on December 26, 2018.
The brother of one of the accused, Pradeep Tiwari, filed an application seeking interim custody of the vehicle before the special court.
The court directed the investigating officer to file his reply on it. On Saturday, the investigating officer gave his ‘no objection’ to the interim custody of the car being given to the accused’s brother, with certain terms and conditions.
The court said as per ANC’s case, the car was used for transporting the illegal substance.
It said under Section 60 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, any conveyance used for transporting narcotic drug or such controlled substance, is liable to be confiscated.
“…and even then, inconsistent with the said provision, the investigating officer has given a reply, for giving consent to hand over custody of the vehicle to the brother of the accused. Hence, show-cause notice to the investigating officer…why action should not be taken for attempting to destroy the prosecution evidence,” Special Judge M S Mungale said in his order, directing that a reply to the notice be filed on January 30.
Last month, the ANC had filed a 1,500-page chargesheet in the case, according to which, the accused had allegedly falsely declared the controlled substance to be “Organic Sacha Inchi Powder” to be sent to a company in Mexico. The ANC arrested the men on the Western Express Highway in Vile Parle while they were on their way to the airport, arresting Salim Dola, Chandramani Tiwari, Sandeep Tiwari and Ghanshyam Saroj.
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