HC acquits doctor of drug peddling charges

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, July 21: High Court acquitted a doctor of the drug peddling charges by recording that the prosecution evidence against him is inadmissible in nature which does not prove the connection of the medico with the alleged crime.
Dr Sami-ullah Dar of district Pulwama was charged with the commission of offences under NDPS Act along with other accused by the Sessions Court of Pulwama on 02.02.2023. Aggrieved of the same he challenged the order of trial court on various grounds including that charge against him by the court below has been framed on the basis of confessional statement of the co-accused which is inadmissible in evidence.
Justice Sanjay Dhar after having threadbare arguments from the counsel for the parties came to the conclusion that the evidence relied upon by the prosecution against the petitioner-doctor is either inadmissible in nature or the same, even if taken at its face value, does not connect the petitioner with the alleged crime.
Justice Dhar said, the trial court while framing charges against the accused, relied upon inadmissible evidence and the material which does not connect the petitioner with the alleged crime. According to the trial court, a strong suspicion exists towards the criminal conspiracy angle against the petitioner.
“But even a strong suspicion has to be based on some material. Such a suspicion cannot be raised on the basis of inadmissible evidence and sketchy material which does not connect the petitioner with the alleged crime”, Justice Dhar said.
Justice Dhar said the trial court has, landed itself into error while holding that there are grounds for presuming that the petitioner-doctor is involved in the alleged crime.
Court with these findings allowed the plea of doctor and the impugned order passed by the trial court, to the extent of framing charge against the petitioner and made it clear that the court below shall proceed against other accused persons in accordance with the law.
Court added that the framing of charge is not an idle formality and whatever has been stated by the investigating agency in the charge sheet cannot be accepted as gospel truth and the court has to apply its judicial mind to the material collected by the investigating agency and then come to a conclusion whether or not there is any ground for proceeding against the accused.
“Without fully adverting to the material on record, the Court cannot blindly adopt the decision of the investigating agency, though the court is not required to scan the evidence minutely. The Court has to see whether on the basis of the material, it were to think that the accused might have committed the offence while framing charge against the accused, though for conviction, the conclusion is required to be that the accused has committed the offence”, reads the judgment.