NAB fails to trace remnants of drugs in former Chandel ADC member case

TMB Report

IMPHAL: Superintendent of Police Narcotic Affair and Border, Manipur has submitted its enquiry reports before the court mentioning that they had conducted a thorough check in order to trace missing remnants of exhibits of drugs seized from a former Chandel ADC member in the Malkhana of NAB PS but has failed.

The report of SP NAB, Manipur was submitted before the Special Court ND and PS in connection with missing remnants of seized article from Malakhana of NAB PS Manipur in connection with the case of seizure of huge quantity of heroin and WY tablets worth Rs. 27 Crore from the possession of former Chandel ADC Chairman Lhukhosei Zou and seven others on June 19, 2018.

The report submitted before the court was later furnished to Special PP and to all the accused persons through their respective counsels for hearing and fixed April 4, 2020 for further prosecution witness hearing.

The submitted enquiry report mentioned that on March 2, 2020, Ashutosh Kumar Sinha, Additional DGP Intelligence constituted an enquiry consisting of RK Saklemba, Additional SP NAB Manipur, Kh Shashikumar Inspector CID (SB) and P. Anilkumar, Sub Inspector, NAB Manipur.

The constituted enquiry committee in due course of enquiry collected and examined the certified copies of the documents sent by OC NAB PS in connection with the case.

Further, the enquiry committee examined seven police personnel’s and officers in connection with the case and on examination Sub-Inspector Thiyam Niranjan who was previously posted at NAB PS stated that on July 28, 2018 he was authorized to collect expert opinion report and remnants from Forensic Science Laboratory, Pangei for some case including the present case. The same were received by him after proper procedure and then he deposited the return exhibits to LC Jangkhohao Haokip at NAB police station Manipur.

It is further said that on examination of Sub-Inspector Ashok Kumar Oinam posted at NAB PS stated that he was the first IO of the case and thoroughly investigated the case following proper procedure and was later re-endorsed to SI Athouba on August 31, 2018 further investigation.

The exhibits of the present case were sent to FSL Pangei for examination and on August, 2018 the exhibits were returned from FSL Pangei and only the expert opinion was handed over to him by LC Jangkhohao Haokip and he did not recollect seeing the remnants of the items and had no knowledge about remnants being missing.

Examination of Jangkhohao Haokip who was previously posted at NAB PS as LC revealed that he made an entry of expert opinion register and it indicates that the exhibits returned back from FSL Pangei and the expert opinion was given to Sub Inspector Ashok Kumar who was the IO of the case. However, as was the procedure at that time, the remnants of the exhibits of the case were given to Inspector B Rishikesh then OC NAB Police Station for keeping it in Malkhana of NAB PS.

On examination of Sub Inspector L Athouba who was also previously posted at NAB PS, he stated that he was the second IO of the case which was re-endorsed to him for further investigation of the case on August 31, 2018 and there was no handing/ taking of the case exhibits as those were kept in the custody of Malkhana of NAB PS and he investigated the case for a short period of time and during his investigation of the case there was no correspondence made about the exhibits of the present case.

The submitted enquiry reports further mentioned that on examination of Inspector Rishikesh Sharma then OC NAB PS he stated that the remnants from FSL Pangei in connection with the case were entered in the remnant register and stored in Malkhana of NAB Police Station for further reference and as far he could recollect, the returned remnants were kept in a black polythene bag and stored in the Malkahana of NAB PS. However, he cannot recollect clearly where it was kept as he was under the impression that it was kept along with other exhibits of the same FIR inside the Malkhana.

It was further submitted that on examination of the present OC NAB PS Inspector Sh Chandrakumar he stated that he took the charge of NAB PS on September 1 last year from Inspector B. Rishikesh Sharma and the keys of the Malkhana was given to him by LC of NAB PS.

Due to the time constraint he could not do item wise checking and verification of the exhibits of the Malkhana with his predecessor. So, there was no handing- taking of the content of the Malkhana with his predecessor of NAB PS and he could not verify which exhibits were present in the Malkhana when he took charge and hence he could not verify if the said missing exhibits were in the Malkhana when he assumed charges.

However, when the remnants of the case were called for production in the court on December 19 last year they could not be traced and he conducted a thorough checking of the Malkhana looking for the said missing exhibits and he also contacted the previous OC and LC of NAB PS to assist in searching for the remnants. However, the items could not be traced and are not in the Malkhana of NAB PS.

Finding of the submitted enquiry report mentioned that the missing exhibits of the case are remnants of original sample which were sent to FSP Pangei for exhibition. As evident by documents, the said exhibits were returned from FSL Pangei on July 28, 2018 along with expert opinion and were collected by SI Th Niranjan from FSL Pangei and deposited to LC of NAB PS Jangkhohao Haokip.

The LC acknowledged the receipt of remnants then the LC segregated the expert opinion to the IO of the case for case documentation and the remnants of the exhibits from FSL Pangei were handed over to then OC NAB PS B Rishikesh Sharma.

However, the exhibits correspondence with FSL Pangei was updated in the Malkhana register of NAB PS. After streamlining of Malkhana of NAB PS on 2019 as ordered by SP NAB PS Manipur the Malkhana register was to be regular updated

However, in connection with the present case the record in the Police Station registers have not been updated as such, there are no documents in Malkhana registered or Court challan registered to indicate that the exhibits were either deposited or taken out from the Malkhana of NAB police station. In such circumstances, handing taking over of the Malkhana of NAB PS cannot be carried out when the present OC took charge and hence it cannot be verified as to whether the exhibits were inside the Malkhana of NAB PS when he took charge.

In the present circumstances, the Malkhana of NAB police station was thoroughly checked in order to find the missing exhibits but the items cannot be traced, mentioned the report.

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