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Jailed drug smuggler set free due to unlawful arrest

By Correspondent
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AIZAWL, July 18 - An alleged drug smuggler, who was sentenced by a lower court to five years� rigorous imprisonment and fined him Rs 5,000, has been set free by Gauhati High Court which held that his arrest was illegal.

According to a report by a Aizawl-based weekly magazine, Zamkhawgin, 45, a resident of Manipur�s Churachandpur district, was arrested with 16 kg of ganja at Khawlian village in Mizoram near the Manipur border on November 11, 2015. The officer who arrested him was an assistant sub-inspector from Saitual police station, who acted on a call he had received from a 2nd Indian Reserve Police official who told him that they had apprehended the man carrying the contraband.

A case was registered against the accused at Saitual police station under Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances (ND&PS Act). A special court of ND&PS Act convicted him and sentenced him to five years� RI with a fine of Rs 5,000.

However, the accused challenged the judgement in Gauhati High Court arguing that he was arrested by a police officer lower than the rank of a sub-inspector, which is illegal as per the notification of Mizoram Government�s Finance, Excise and Taxation department dated March 7, 1986 and Excise and Narcotics department dated October 6, 2015. These notifications had stated that banned drugs can be seized by police officers above the rank of sub-inspector, in contradiction to the ND&PS Act which allows government employees in different departments above the ranks of peon, sepoy and constable.

The prosecution maintained that the ASI was the only officer present at the time of the arrest as the sub-inspector was on leave. Though the additional advocate general AK Rokhum argued in the court that the police officer was only carrying out his duty in the interest of the public, the court maintained the drugs were seized by officers unauthorised by the State Government.

The high court also pointed out that the FIR against the accused was signed by an officer-in-charge of the police station, which clearly showed that the ASI was not the only officer present in the police station at that time.

The high court also took note of the ASI besides being a seizing officer also acted as investigating officer, which it held as unlawful. Owing to this, Gauhati High Court set the accused free.

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Jailed drug smuggler set free due to unlawful arrest

AIZAWL, July 18 - An alleged drug smuggler, who was sentenced by a lower court to five years� rigorous imprisonment and fined him Rs 5,000, has been set free by Gauhati High Court which held that his arrest was illegal.

According to a report by a Aizawl-based weekly magazine, Zamkhawgin, 45, a resident of Manipur�s Churachandpur district, was arrested with 16 kg of ganja at Khawlian village in Mizoram near the Manipur border on November 11, 2015. The officer who arrested him was an assistant sub-inspector from Saitual police station, who acted on a call he had received from a 2nd Indian Reserve Police official who told him that they had apprehended the man carrying the contraband.

A case was registered against the accused at Saitual police station under Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances (ND&PS Act). A special court of ND&PS Act convicted him and sentenced him to five years� RI with a fine of Rs 5,000.

However, the accused challenged the judgement in Gauhati High Court arguing that he was arrested by a police officer lower than the rank of a sub-inspector, which is illegal as per the notification of Mizoram Government�s Finance, Excise and Taxation department dated March 7, 1986 and Excise and Narcotics department dated October 6, 2015. These notifications had stated that banned drugs can be seized by police officers above the rank of sub-inspector, in contradiction to the ND&PS Act which allows government employees in different departments above the ranks of peon, sepoy and constable.

The prosecution maintained that the ASI was the only officer present at the time of the arrest as the sub-inspector was on leave. Though the additional advocate general AK Rokhum argued in the court that the police officer was only carrying out his duty in the interest of the public, the court maintained the drugs were seized by officers unauthorised by the State Government.

The high court also pointed out that the FIR against the accused was signed by an officer-in-charge of the police station, which clearly showed that the ASI was not the only officer present in the police station at that time.

The high court also took note of the ASI besides being a seizing officer also acted as investigating officer, which it held as unlawful. Owing to this, Gauhati High Court set the accused free.