Drugs-on-cruise case: NDPS court says seizures ‘not done by authorised officer’
A special NDPS court granted bail to Nupur Satija, accused in the drugs-on-cruise case, saying the seizure of narcotics from her was “illegal” as it wasn’t conducted by an authorised woman officer.
Satija was granted bail on October 30, but the detailed order became available on Saturday, a PTI report said. She was among 20 people, including actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan, arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) after raiding a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on October 2. The prosecution had claimed that four pills of ‘Ecstasy’ were recovered from Satija.
According to her lawyers, an authorised woman officer was not present during the seizure – as is required by the NDPS Act.
Special judge VV Patil said a female “panch” witness had searched the accused, but “admittedly, there was no lady officer present and no panchanama was carried out by person authorised for that purpose”.
“Therefore, there is breach of a provision in the NDPS Act,” the judge was quoted as saying, adding that Satija was entitled to bail on the ground of illegal seizure.
On the prosecution’s claim of conspiracy, the court said that considering the material placed on record, it cannot be said that prima-facie there was conspiracy and abetment, as alleged.