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HC: Chemical analyser report needed to prove culpability of accused booked under NDPS Act

Justice Shinde observed, “Thus, in my view, bare reference of field test being conducted on the kit in the panchanama is not sufficient material to detain the applicant in jail in absence of a report from the chemical analyser.”

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
January 21, 2021 9:05:00 am
Drugs and Narcotics, Drug offences, Chemical analyser report, NDPS Act, Mumbai news, Indian Express newsSagar Joshi, who was arrested for possessing 65 gm of amphetamine, had claimed that the substance seized from them was “Ramlatan powder.” (Representational Image)

Observing that the report of chemical analyser (CA) or lab report “lays the foundation of accused’s culpability, without which even magistrate cannot form opinion and take cognizance of involvement in commission of offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act,” the Bombay High Court recently granted bail to an employee of a pharmaceutical company.

Sagar Joshi (27), a resident of Ulhasnagar in Navi Mumbai, was arrested for possessing 65 gm of amphetamine, a narcotic drug, which he had stolen from the Ambernath-based company with the help of his colleagues.

A single-judge bench of Justice Sandeep K Shinde on January 15 made the observations while hearing the bail plea of Joshi, who was arrested by the Koparkhairane police on October 12, 2019, along with a colleague. While Joshi had claimed that the substance seized from them was “Ramlatan powder”, the prosecution had said that it was a narcotic drug.

Advocate Sanjeev Kadam, representing Joshi, said that panchnama did not show that the raiding police team was equipped with field test kits, and therefore, argued that neither any test was conducted nor the report of the alleged field test was filed along with the chargesheet.

Justice Shinde observed, “Thus, in my view, bare reference of field test being conducted on the kit in the panchanama is not sufficient material to detain the applicant in jail in absence of a report from the chemical analyser.” “There is no such other material to prima facie accept that the suspect substance recovered from the applicant was amphetamine,” the court said.

The bench added, “It may not be overlooked that the chemical analyser’s report is an essential, integral and inherent part of the investigation under the NDPS Act and would lay foundation of accused’s culpability…”

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