Challenging a lower court decision denying permission to retest samples of what is believed to be mephedrone, retrieved from the possession of former Marine Drive head constable Dharmaraj Kalokhe, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch has on Friday filed an appeal in the Bombay High Court. The appeal is expected to come up for hearing in the coming week, officials said.
Kalokhe, a former head constable with the Marine Drive police, was arrested on March 9 this year after the police seized 112 kg of the alleged narcotic drug from his Lonavala residence. Another 12 kg of the same substance were also seized from his locker at the police station.
The state Forensic Sciences Laboratories (FSL), however, after testing the substance retrieved from Kalokhe submitted that the seized substance is Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG), commonly known as ajinomoto. On August 17, an application by the Crime Branch for retesting of the samples was denied by the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) court.
The Crime Branch had then applied for permission to appeal against the verdict, and on October 5 this year, The Indian Express had reported that the law and judiciary department of the state government had granted permission for the move.
“The appeal was filed on Friday through a High Court Public Prosecutor and it will soon come up for hearing. We have challenged the NDPS court’s decision and have sought permission to send a second set of samples to a central FSL,” said a Crime Branch source.
The Crime Branch’s contention is that Shashikala alias Baby Patankar, an arrested accused in the case from whom Kalokhe is alleged to have received the substance, mixed mephedrone with MSG as both the substances are similar in colour and texture, and that this adulteration might have affected the outcome of the forensic tests.
Officials added that the appeal was drafted over repeated meetings with legal experts and law offices of the Mumbai Police. The appeal was examined and approved by senior police officers in the middle of the week, after which it was filed.
Apart from Kalokhe, five other policemen, including a senior police inspector with the Anti-Narcotics Cell, were also arrested in this case by the Crime Branch, and several others were also under the scanner for their alleged links with either Kalokhe or Patankar. The Crime Branch had also arrested two other drug peddlers who were allegedly part of the mephedrone supply chain.