Thursday 08 Dec 2022

Drugs case: Court acquits Morjim shack owner


In a major blow to Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) investigation into drug nexus in Goa, the Additional Sessions Court acquitted a shack owner of charges of possessing drugs. Hemant Shah, whose drug links in Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case surfaced in 2020, has been acquitted in a separate case registered by NCB Goa in August 2021.

The Court has cast doubt on the prosecution case while dismissing that Shah, owner of a beach shack in Morjim was in possession of 30 gms of charas and 15 LSD blots at his residence in Miramar.

“The inconsistency in the evidence of these two police officers and the Executive Magistrate and the Chemical Analyst as regards the number of sheets of LSD blots which were found, sealed and packed and the number of sheets found when the sealed envelope was opened in the presence of the Executive Magistrate raises a further doubt on the prosecution case,” reads an extract of the order pronounced by Additional Sessions Judge-I (North Goa) Edgar Fernandes.

In what could leave the NCB red-faced, the Court has also not ruled out the possibility of manipulation into the weight of the drugs samples, citing a panch witness’ deposition that “does not support the prosecution case.”

Acquitting Shah, who is a native of Madhya Pradesh and carrying out his business in Morjim, the Court observed that the prosecution failed to prove that the accused was in possession of the drugs.

In another order by the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Mapusa, drug supplier Yasu Hinagata has been sentenced to undergo six months of simple imprisonment for an offence registered against him in 2013. The Japanese national was caught with a small quantity of cocaine in his possession by the NCB during a raid at a club in Anjuna.

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