Releasing alleged drug-peddler Shashikala Patankar on bail, the special NDPS court judge observed that merely because the application to resend samples of drug found in a constable’s locker in Marine Drive to a chemical lab was pending in court, the accused did not have not be “debarred from enjoying the liberty…”.
Patankar, accused of supplying mephedrone, popularly known as Meow Meow, to a police constable, was recently granted bail on the ground that the chemical analysis report of the drugs samples seized was found negative for mephedrone and positive for ajinomoto. The prosecution opposed her bail appeal on the grounds that they had in an application sought the court’s permission to resend the samples of the seized drug.
“May it be pending. However, pending the determination of the said application or even if the said application is granted pending the analysis and report of CFSL in my view, it would not be legal and just to any more detain the accused when accused is otherwise entitled for bail as we do not know what time will be required for retesting and report. If the accused is otherwise entitled to the bail then it would be improper to reject the bail solely on the count that retesting application is likely to be granted and if granted is likely to favour the prosecution,” the order read.
Moreover, Special Judge U B Hejib also noted that the grant or rejection of the bail could not be postponed for “indefinite period as it is common knowledge that report of either FSL or CFSL, except in exceptional cases, are not received timely or quickly may be for diverse reasons”.
Discussing the possible outcomes of sending the samples for retesting, the court observed, “If the court is inclined to send the second sample to CFSL and if for the result of CFSL, the passage of time in years or in many months will be consumed, does it mean to say that by the time the report will be received, the accused is to be debarred from enjoying the liberty and is to be incarcerated? If the CFSL report moreover comes negative then…? Strange results we find had ensued (sic).” The court suggested that if the samples tested positive for mephedrone or any other banned drug, the prosecution might move the court for cancellation of the bail granted to Patankar.
The crime branch opposed the bail, saying she had amassed a lot of wealth, with 22 properties in Mumbai and Pune and Rs 1.2 crore in fixed deposits. In this regard, the special judge observed that “having regard to the nature of the offence, to my mind, the accused would prefer to face the trial instead of losing right to enjoy aforesaid properties”.