Updated: July 14, 2021 8:49:07 am
SAMEER KHAN, the son-in-law of NCP leader and cabinet minister Nawab Malik, filed for bail before the special court on Tuesday, claiming that a “completely frivolous” complaint has been made against him in a drugs case.
The plea claimed that the forensic analysis report annexed to the chargesheet filed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) last week showed that apart from a small quantity of 7.5 grams of ganja allegedly recovered from a co-accused, none of the 194.6 kg of substance seized in the case is covered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The NCB has claimed that while eight of the 18 samples sent to the Gujarat Forensic Science Laboratory had tested negative, others which included “vegetative part of the cannabis plant”, amounting to 86 kgs of ganja, were covered under the Act.
The agency has charged Khan and five others with allegations of dealing with commercial quantities of the drug, which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years.
The NCB claimed that a majority of drugs in the case were seized from accused Karan Sejnani, who was involved in business transactions with Khan.
Khan, through his lawyer Taraq Sayyed, said in the bail plea that the lab report has already opined that 11 of the samples “could not be detected as cannabis”. The NDPS Act excludes leaves and seeds of the cannabis plant and hence five other samples containing trichomes, a “hair-like” substance, are also not covered under the Act, the plea stated. While six CBD sprays were alleged to have been recovered, cannabidoil is also not covered under the Act, the plea added.
“It is thus clear on the basis of the report that is annexed, along with the complaint, that save A1-B, which is a total of 7.5 grams of ganja, none of the substance allegedly seized by the department is covered under the NDPS Act,” the bail plea stated, adding that the complaint “deliberately does not mention the substantive sections against the accused”.
The bail plea further stated that based on the forensic report, the only charge sustained in the complaint is for dealing with a small quantity of ganja, for which the maximum punishment is one year. The plea sought Khan’s release under provisions of 436A of the Criminal Procedure Code since he has already spent more than half of the maximum term in jail.
In the plea, Khan also said that while the NCB has claimed to have his WhatsApp chats with Sejnani, they only show that the latter had sought financial help from him for a legitimate business concerning tobacco, adding there was nothing to show that he had dealt with any transaction towards a conspiracy under the NDPS Act.
Sejnani has also filed a bail plea in the regard.
The NCB had last week filed a chargesheet against all the accused in the case, including Khan, Sejnani, sisters Rahila and Shaista Furniturewala, and Ramkumar Tiwari, one of the owners of Mucchad Panwala paan shop in South Mumbai. The NCB will file a reply to the bail plea following which the special court will hear arguments in the coming days.
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