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Hidden Drugs in Property Disclosed by Secret Information: Tripura High Court

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Case: Sri Ajit Debbarma vs State of Tripura

Excerpt

This is an appeal against the judgement passed by the Tripura High Court. It considers that Mr Debbarma hid drugs on his property. He is sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and to pay a fine of Rs. 1,00,000/- with default stipulation.

Facts of the Case

The commanding officer of Khowai received secretive data. It was said that immense quantities of drugs were stored up in the dwelling hut. The information was received on 02.06.2018 in the evening. Immediately, the information was shared with the Superintendent of Police (SP). After that, they conducted a raid on the accused property, but he was absent. The same information was shared with Joyalaxmi Debbarma, wife of the accused. They found 19 plastic bags filled with dry ganja at the accused property. The bags weighed 294kgs & 300gms of dry cannabis. All the bags got seized by the police officials. After this, Sukanta Debbarma filed a complaint, against the accused-appellant, Ajit Debbarma. The case went to court. The special Judge sentenced him as the Judge found him guilty. The accused was dissatisfied with the judgement. So, the appellant asked for an instant appeal before the court. 

Arguments before the Court

Arguments by Appellant

The Counsel stated that it wasn’t proved that the property belonged to Ajit Debbarma.  Further, he submitted that the search warrant for the raid has not been complied with in the instant case. Samir Debbarma stated that Ajit Debbarma being his maternal uncle used to live in his locality. 

Arguments by Respondent: (Prosecution Witnesses) 

PW-4  Samir Debbarma  is the tehsildar (tax officer) of Padmabil Tehsil, Tripura. He stated that Ajit Debbarma is the owner of the land under Paschim Belcherra Mouja, Hal plot no. 1627, khatian no. 11/1. PW-7, Saroj Debbarma is Rural Programme Secretary (RPS) of Paschim Belchara ADC village. He stated that he was a resident of Paschim Belchara ADC village under Padmabill RD Block.

Court’s Observation

It was observed that if any person is in a higher position like the superintendent of police, then he/she has the authority and power to give orders to their subordinate to search, raid or arrest any person under their guidance. But the position should at least be higher than peon, constable or sepoy. In this case, when secret information was accumulated on larger quantities of ganja that were stored up at the property, the Superintendent of Police (SP) ordered the Deputy Superintendent of Police to conduct a raid instantly.  

Court’s Decision

The evidence displays that the prosecution has been capable of setting up the reality. The motives of urgency to leading raid and search on the house of the accused has been recorded and entered in the GD Book vide GD access no. 7 dated 02.06.2018.  In the immediate case, it says that if a search operation and the raid isn’t performed at that instance, then the articles might be smuggled to Bangladesh.  In absence of a search warrant, the investigation officer must state the grounds of urgency for not getting a search warrant to form entry and search of a specific place, building or place. The Judge finds the appellant guilty. The case is dismissed. 

Click here to read the full judgement.


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