Retired inspector Suhas Gokhale, accused of helping alleged drug peddler Shashikala alias Baby Patankar evade arrest, told a Mumbai court Thursday that the drug he had checked to verify whether it was Mephedrone (Meow-Meow) could have been Ajinomoto or monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Gokhale’s lawyer Dilip Mishra argued that according to the FIR and remand application, Gokhale had held the Mephedrone parcel to check it by sniffing it while creating the panchanama on March 10. “He (Gokhale) claimed it was MD (Mephedrone). However, Gokhale told me that he had told the officers that it could be Ajinomoto but only Mephedrone was noted down,” Mishra contended.
He also argued that there was no field testing kit either.
“How can Gokhale identify a drug merely by smelling it?” Mishra submitted.
He further relied on a news article published on May 3, which said according to sources the seized “drugs” turned out to be cooking ingredient Ajinomoto or MSG. “Sources in a city’s forensic laboratory, where drug samples were sent for analysis, said the test has revealed that the sample was of Ajinomoto and not Mephedrone, a banned drug,” the article read. The court was however not informed if the article was verified.
Mishra concluded that the samples be sent for the test and if it is Ajinomoto, Gokhale was not prosecutable under the NDPS act.
Gokhale, along with four other policemen, was arrested on May 29 in connection with the alleged nexus between the prime accused and an inspector Dharamraj Kalokhe who was arrested in March after 114 kg of mephedrone was found in his house in Lonavala.
The police Thursday sought the extension of their custody to investigate their connection with Kalokhe.
While the court remanded the five in police custody till June 8, the special judge observed, “I carefully perused the call detail records. Apparently, almost every accused, as it appears, has been contacted Baby Patankar.”