In the matter of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence v Nitish Kumar On acquiring precise information about some illegal products that were imported into India and were lying at ICD Tughlakabad, New Delhi after being confiscated, a case was filed. The illegal goods were concealed in four containers that were declared to contain rock salt. The DRI officers arrived at ICD Tughalkabad with independent witnesses after getting intelligence and assembling a team. During the physical examination of the four suspicious containers, 982 bags totalling 34.7 kg of heroin were discovered.
Analysis of Court Verdict
An accused was exonerated by the Delhi High Court’s single judge bench, Justice Gaurav Gupta, due to a lack of evidence. The Court additionally determined that a prima facie offence under sections 29 and 28 read with sections 21 and 23 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS), was established against the first accused, and an offence under sections 29 and 23 read with section 29 of the NDPS Act was established against the second through fourth accused.
The Court noted that, in terms of allegations against accused 5, an Afghan national who had fled to India after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, he was said to have signed an MOU with Goodlife Global Pvt. Ltd. through its owner, accused 1, in order to import salt from Iran. According to the statement made by Accused 5 under Section 67 of the NDPS Act, which, despite being inadmissible, sheds light on the prosecution’s case against the Accused. According to the statement that was written down, he signed the MOU with the assurance that someone would assist in getting him to a secure place, such as Canada, Germany, Australia, etc. The accused, number 5, was made out to be a scapegoat in case things did not go according to plan, the court commented. Even then, the prosecution should have had the MOU’s signatures and handwriting analysed by a professional to show that the MOU was executed, but this was not done. It cannot be assumed that accused 5 executed the MOU in its absence. The Court reached the conclusion that, aside from the MOU, there is not a shred of evidence against Accused 5 from which it is possible to infer that he was involved in the scheme to import illegal goods into India. No offence is proven against accused 5 as a result.
The Court then exonerated accused 5 and determined that, based on the information in the file, accused 1 had committed an offence under Sections 29 and 28 read together with Sections 21 and 23 and accused 2, 3, and 4 had committed offences under Sections 29 and 23 read together with Section 29 of the NDPS Act.