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Court twist to drug-bust duel

The tussle between the central government-controlled Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) over the conduct of the inquiry into the drug racket bust at the Upen Biswas residence was taken to court on Thursday.

The CID filed a petition before Calcutta High Court seeking possession of the documents seized in May this year from the accused drug peddlers, who had been tenants of the former joint director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Following a complaint lodged by the CID, Justice D.P. Sengupta asked the NCB to hand over the driving licences and other documents seized from the five foreigners arrested on May 19 to the CID, adding that the state agency should return the documents to the NCB in three months.

Kazi Safiullah, public prosecutor for the CID, said though the investigation had been handed over to the CID, the NCB was reluctant to forward the documents seized from the three Chinese and two Myanmarese nationals, who lived on rent on the ground floor of Biswas’ Salt Lake home.

“The non-cooperative attitude of the NCB is creating problems for the investigation,” Safiullah argued. The CID had, apparently, already approached the bench specifically dealing with narcotics offences, but the prayer had been turned down. He added that it was the responsibility of the central agency to help the CID crack the case.

The NCB counsel opposed the prayer on the grounds that it was also conducting its own enquiry. The documents should be kept in the care of the NCB till the investigation was concluded, he added.

The NCB had conducted a raid on the CG-block premises, recovering 24 kg of ephedrine hydrochloride, the raw material used for manufacturing amphetamine-type stimulant tablets. Biswas’ tenants, who were found to have links with an international drug racket, were accused of the crime.

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