While granting bail to a person accused under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, a trial court in Meghalaya has clarified that the court cannot accept a chargesheet to be complete if it's submitted without a forensic science report.
While pulling up the police for not placing the Chemical Analysis Report on record, the Special Judge at East Khasi Hills noted that:
'In the absence of FSL report, this Court cannot proceed with the case as the Chemical Analysis Report is a vital document to ascertain the quality and quantity of the seized contraband and as such without trial it is not justified to remand the accused person on every production date on a Mechanical manner.'
The order has come in a bail application moved by a person who has been languishing in prison for over 5 months for being accused of an offence under section 21(b) of the NDPS Act.
After the perusal of the record, the court observed that the police had filed a chargesheet against the accused on April 27 for seizure of contraband weighing 43.34 gms which falls under intermediate quantity. However, till date, the police have not furnished the FSL Report before the court.
When the Investigating Officer was confronted by the court on this fact, he responded by submitting that the FSL Report is still pending before the forensic laboratory in Shillong.
While rapping the police for not causing delay in furnishing the FSL Report, the court highlighted that:
'It is clear that the accused person is in custody for more than 5 months, but till date FSL report has not reached this court nor any steps taken in respect of the pending FSL report. Further, in the absence of Chemical Analysis Report the Charge sheet submitted by the I/O cannot be considered to be completed charge sheet.'
The court further observed that it is difficult for the court to come to the conclusion that the seized article is a contraband article and it cannot analyze as to what is the quantity and quality of the contraband in the absence of the Chemical Analysis report.
While showing concerns towards the liberty of the accused, the court further highlighted that the Investigating Agency has to strictly follow the law as provided by the NDPS Act particularly the mandate of Standing Instruction Number 1/88 of the Narcotic Control Bureau as required by Law which enumerates that the analysis of the contraband article has to be completed within 15 days from the date of receipt of the same and the quantitative analysis also has to be completed within 15 days thereafter.
In light of these facts, the court granted the bail to the accused upon furnishing a bail amount of ₹2,00,000.