Only 4 convictions in 100 drug cases

Only 4 convictions in 100 drug cases

Indirectly assisting the accused in trial would amount to direct participation in the crime itself,” said the special court not mincing its words while acquitting the youth on April 11.

CHENNAI: Only four convictions in the last 100 judgments. That is all the actual success that the Chennai city police have managed to secure in its ongoing battle against narcotics.

When DT Next analysed the last 100 judgments by the special court that tries Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act cases in the last two years, it was found that while the police are high on arrests, they were having a bad trip while trying to secure convictions.

Giving a clarion call to eradicate the menace of narcotics on Wednesday, Chief Minister MK Stalin warned that he would not hesitate to be a dictator against officials who help those involved in the drug trade. Perhaps he can start with Parthiban and Muthukumar, two head constables attached to Royala Nagar police station who turned hostile to the prosecution case against two college students.

“In the view of the court, their conduct is to save the accused from clutches of law for reasons best known to them. Indirectly assisting the accused in trial would amount to direct participation in the crime itself,” said the special court not mincing its words while acquitting the youth on April 11.

“Cumulative effect of inconsistent evidence, suspicious documents and lethargic investigation coupled with legal position placed before the court gives no other option except to conclude that the prosecution has failed to prove recovery,” the court noted in another order, dated October 26, 2021, acquitting two men arrested by the Seven Wells police.

Advocate SK Prasad, who has over two decades of experience handling NDPS cases, said that unlike the Narcotics Control Bureau, a central agency, the city police’s final report is often laced with loopholes to help the accused. “There have been several instances where police itself work in cahoots with the peddlers. They either stuff dry dung or betel leaves between the seized narcotics, which, when sent for tests, would return negative leading to acquittal,” he said. In a verdict on April 21, one of the major reasons of the acquittal was the Seven wells police’s discrepancy in their seizure of ganja. While their final report stated that they seized 14 kg of ganja, it was only 7.194 kg when weighed before the court. No answers were provided by the prosecution on the open court debacle.

While most of the cases involve intermediary seizures in the range of 1-5 kg, the police’s performance in seizures involving more than 5 kg and of commercial quantity (above 20 kg) are nothing to write home about.

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