By LE Desk

Mumbai, June 8, 2021: The Bombay High Court has heard an appeal filed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) against the special NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act) court order which had directed the retesting of drug samples seized from alleged drug peddler Anuj Keshwani. 

As per the special court order, the forensic science laboratory (FSL) was asked to reweigh the LSD allegedly recovered from Keshwani.

The NCB had arrested Keshwani last year while probing the drug angle in actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case.

The single-judge bench of Justice AS Gadkari, while hearing the NCB’s appeal, was informed by advocate Shriram Shirsat that the April 30 order of the special NDPS court directed the agency to send a sample of the drug to FSL Gandhinagar, Gujarat, to assess the weight of LSD without the blot paper and whether the weight of 0.62 grams of the contraband recovered from Keshwani included the weight of paper, the Hindustan Times reported. 

The agency sought the setting aside of the order and pending hearing of the appeal, a stay on the direction to send samples to Gandhinagar FSL.

During the hearing of a plea by Keshwani, NCB had submitted to the special court that as per the chemical analyser (CA) report, a total 585g of charas, 270.12g of ganja, 3.6g of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and 0.62g of LSD were seized from Keshwani. However, Keshwani’s lawyers had argued that the 0.62g LSD also included the weight of the blot paper, and as the NDPS Act permitted 0.1 grams as commercial quantity for LSD, they sought weight of the 31 blot papers used. Based on this, the special court had issued directions for samples to be sent to FSL.

In its appeal, NCB stated that the weight of the paper should also be considered while ascertaining whether the quantity of LSD was commercial or not, as narcotics included mixtures and preparations, as per law.

Advocates Taraq Sayed and Gayatri Gokhale for Keshwani submitted that reweighing of drugs as per the special court directions would not prejudice the NCB’s probe. Hence, the report by FSL on reweighing the contraband could be considered.

As additional solicitor general Anil Singh for NCB was unavailable to make submissions on the question of law pertaining to the weight of the contraband, Shirsat sought adjournment of the hearing of the appeal, the Hindustan Times reported.

After hearing the initial submissions, the HC asked the lawyers to provide past judgments which dealt with the question whether the weight of the paper could be included in the weight of the seized LSD under NDPS Act, and posted hearing of the appeal to Wednesday.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/ncb-appeals-against-court-order-to-weigh-seized-lsd-without-blot-paper-101623093217016.html

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