A YEAR after a staffer of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was arrested by the agency she worked for, a special court in Mumbai rejected her bail application saying she had involved herself in storage, sale, and transport of contraband material from her official quarter.
A special court designated under the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act denied bail to Pravinta Wasnik stating that she had not been able to explain or disclose how she came in contact with co-accused Gulam Hussain, an alleged drug dealer as per the NCB. It further said she was the ‘main brain’ behind the crime.
On January 11, 2017, Hussain was arrested by the NCB with 200 grams of banned drug Mephedrone in his pocket. Another 495 grams of the drug was recovered from the Honda Activa he was riding, which was registered in Wasnik’s name. He also allegedly led the NCB to her official government quarters in Wadala, where the agency claimed it seized another 228 grams of the contraband.
Wasnik, who was arrested on January 12, had sought bail after the samples sent to the Hyderabad Central Forensic Science Laboratory did not show any trace of Mephedrone, also known as party drug ‘Meow Meow’. While one of the samples showed traces of methamphetamine, another detected aspirin.
The NCB submitted in court that since the agency did not possess a test kit for Mephedrone, they had believed the words of Hussain to identify the drug when the samples were seized from him. The NCB also submitted that both the accused were involved in drug trafficking. “…there is absolutely no explanation on record from the mouth of accused no. 2 (Wasnik) as to how Honda Activa motorcycle came into possession of accused no. 1 (Hussain) who was found in possession of contraband substance with him as well as the dicky of the motorcycle,” the court said.
The court also held the fact that a weighing scale was found in Wasnik’s official quarters as a factor against her. While the defence claimed that many people would have a scale machine at their home, the court observed, “scale machine at official quarter as found can be seen from different angle as it was being used for carrying weight of contraband substance. It is true that many of the citizens or people at large may use weigh machine but when they are not involved in storage of contraband. Therefore, use of weigh machine at their homes is permissible.”
On Wasnik’s submission that she and her co-accused had retracted statements made before the NCB and that there was no independent material to show her involvement, the court held that it could not be stated at the bail stage that the value of the statement had completely vanished. The court also rejected Wasnik’s contention that while the NCB had claimed that she was addicted to drugs, no test was conducted on her.