Thane: A 52-year-old resident of Goa, who was allegedly caught consuming drugs at a rave party in 2006, has been acquitted by a local court as the prosecution failed to prove its case.

Special NDPS Judge R D Sawant acquitted Sadruddin Gulam Hussain Kara on Wednesday from charges under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act by giving him the benefit of doubt.

The court pulled up Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which had conducted the raid at the rave party on September 23, 2006, for not following the provisions of NDPS Act while conducting the raid.

The prosecution told the court that on the same day ATS officials received information about a rave party going on at Golkonda in Gorai area of Bhayander in Thane district.

Accordingly, a raid was conducted and it was found that many persons were present at the rave party. One of them was Sadruddin, who was found to be consuming ‘Charas’ and hence he was arrested under various sections of NDPS Act.

The court noted that procedures were not followed for conducting the raid. For instance, senior police inspector Khaire, who had received information about the rave party on phone while he was in office, had not noted down the details in the station diary, as required under the Act. Hence, there was no record to show that he had received information.

“Further, Khaire communicated the information to his senior on telephone as there was nothing on record to show this. It also appears that his superiors gave permission to conduct the raid verbally on telephone as written permission was not sought as required under the Act,” the judge noted.

The court also observed that no diary or document was placed on record to show that the officers had participated in the raid.

Besides, the judge said, no officer of ATS or Anti-Narcotic Cell was questioned by the investigating team on the raid and even their statements were not recorded. They were also not examined in the trial to prove that they had raided.

It is also mandatory under NDPS Act to produce the accused in the nearest police station and produce Muddemal (articles seized during the raid) before such police station. This also was not done by the ATS team who had conducted the raid, the judge said.

“No doubt the ATS can raid any place any where including Thane district but they have to comply with the provisions of NDPS Act. As this was not done, the accused was entitled to benefit of doubt and is, therefore, acquitted,” the judge noted.

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