The Supreme Court of India on Thursday requested the Bombay High Court on Thursday to expeditiously take up actress Mamta Kulkarni's petition for quashing of FIR naming her as one of the accused in an 'international drug conspiracy' to transport Ephedrine powder for manufacturing Methamphetamine.
Division bench of Justice Rohinton Nariman and Justice Navin Sinha dismissed the special leave petition filed by Senior Advocate Siddartha Dave on behalf of Mamta Kulkarni against the Bombay High Court's judgment dated August 26, 2018 wherein the High Court refused to quash cases filed under various Sections of the Narcotics Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act against her.
However, Court allowed the application for condonation of delay filed by the petitioner against the High Court's judgment as there was a delay of 96 days, and said-
"We request the High Court, if possible, given the current pandemic situation, to take up and dispose of Writ Petition No. 5427 of 2018 as expeditiously as is possible in the circumstances."
Initially, FIR was registered against two people on April 12, 2016 under Sections 6(c), 9(a), 25(a), 29 of the NDPS Act at Vartak Nagar police Station, Thane for possession of 2 kg Ephedrine, a narcotics substance valuing Rs.80 lakhs. Thereafter, upon investigation, police claimed to have unearthed a massive international drug racket and named Kulkarni as one of the 17 accused in the four charge sheets filed by them.
Kulkarni has alleged in her petition that frivolous allegations have been levelled against her on the basis of statements of two others accused in the case. According to the petitioner, accused Kishor Rathore and Bharat Kathiya stated before the police that she took part in the meeting at Mumbasa, Kenya in January 2016 where the alleged "conspiracy of transporting the Ephedrine powder lying in Avon Life Science Company at Solapur to Kenya for the purpose of manufacturing Methamphetamine throughout the world was hatched."
The petition states-
"It is pertinent to mention that the role ascribed to the petitioner is primarily based on suspicion and that not even a shred of evidence what to say incriminating evidence appears to have been either found or annexed with any of the Chargesheets which could depict her complicity in the commission of the alleged crime."
Moreover, the investigating agency appears to have roped in the name of the petitioner in the alleged crime since she is a well wisher of one of the co-accused Vicky Goswami and the petitioner and her family members had a genial relationship with him for several decades. However, the said assumption on part of the Investigating Agency leading to false implication of the petitioner is nothing but a desperate attempt on its part to sensationalize and dramatize the entire incident of drug bust of an international character without the petitioner having played any role either at the inception, or during or after the commission of the crime."
The petitioner has also contended that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the United States was also investigating the illegal trafficking of ephedrine which was taking place from Avon Life Sciences at Solapur and had requested Mumbai police for additional information. However, when the Acting United States Attorney of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York framed charges in the case against Vicky Goswami and others, the petitioners name has not been mentioned anywhere. Thus, the FIR against her is sought to be quashed.
Alleging that she has been falsely implicated in the case, the petitioner states that although she filed a petition for quashing of said FIR against her, the petition came to be listed thrice before the High Court yet the same was adjourned on all three occasions leading to its pendency for more than one and a half years. Thus, the petitioner sought direction to the High Court for expeditious disposal of her case for quashing which was granted.