Imphal, March 22: A person allegedly involved in the January 11 pseudoephedrine tablet haul at Imphal airport was recently released on bail by a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances special court.
On March 19, special court judge Ronald Keishing ruled that the police had failed to substantiate the charges against the accused, Md Rajauddin, 29, a resident of Lilong in Thoubal district.
The police had siezed pseudoephedrine tablets, valued at more than Rs 1 crore, from the unloading area of Imphal airport on January 11 following a tip-off that a huge quantity of the tablets was arriving on a flight from Calcutta. But the police were unable to arrest anyone along with the tablets.
Rajauddin was arrested from Canchipur in Imphal West district on January 18 on charges of having brought the tablets from Calcutta to Imphal.
The drug haul triggered a huge row because the police team that seized the drugs — the special investigation unit (SIU) — was disbanded soon after the incident. A public uproar followed and there was demand for a CBI inquiry into the case. Soon after, the government arrested Rajauddin and charged him with smuggling the drug.
The disbanding of the SIU raised suspicions that high profile people could be involved in drug smuggling. In his bail plea, Rajauddin denied the charges and claimed he was a carpenter who had nothing to do with the tablets seized at the airport. The drugs were not seized from him, the accused claimed.
In his ruling, the special judge observed that the police had arrested Rajauddin at “random”.
The order further said the accused had been in police and judicial custody for 60 days and there was no progress in the investigation. It also said the case records of the police showed contradictory statements.
Though the police charged the accused with having brought the drugs from Calcutta, they could not show any document that proved that he was travelling on the same flight that brought the consignment. The police could not name the sender or the recipient of the consignment either.
“There is no material to substantiate the charge against the accused. The investigation officer’s report is vague,” the judge said in his order.
Giving another reason for granting bail, the judge said pseudoephedrine was not a schedule drug but a controlled substance under the NDPS Act. The judge freed the accused on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh.