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Forensic fraudster arrested

A resident of Rohtas district was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly providing fake forensic reports to criminals booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act 1985, helping them get bail.

Baliram Pandey alias Ganja Pandey was arrested by a two-member team of the criminal investigation department (CID), which initiated a probe into a racket producing fake reports from the state forensic science laboratory to help criminals obtain bail. Station house officer of Dehri police station Sidheshwar Rajak said a CID team, comprising sub-inspectors Rajesh Kumar Ram and Sunil Kumar, visited Dehri police station on Wednesday and sought assistance to arrest Pandey (40), wanted in connection with a case lodged with Dehri Town police station.

The case was later handed over to the CID on the recommendation of then Rohtas district magistrate (DM) Anupam Kumar. The recommendation came after Anupam came to know about a racket of fake forensic reports thriving in Rohtas and Kaimur regions. He had not ruled out the involvement of some public servants in the racket.

Sources said the administration got a hint of the racket after an accused produced contradictory forensic reports before the district and sessions judge of Rohtas in a case of drug trafficking lodged with Sasaram Mufassil police station. Suspecting foul play, the judge had asked the Rohtas district magistrate to conduct a thorough investigation to identity those involved in the fraud.

The DM wrote a letter to then superintendent of police Vikas Vaibhav, informing him that several accused booked under the NDPS Act produced fake forensic reports to obtain bail. The letter, a copy of which is in possession of The Telegraph, said the forensic reports in four cases lodged with Sasaram Town police station and one each with Karakat and Natwar police stations in Rohtas should be verified by the state forensic science laboratory.

A special team was set up by then superintendent of police Vaibhav. During the investigation, it was revealed that samples of the seized drugs dispatched to the forensic laboratory in Patna were tampered with to help the accused get bail.

A senior CID officer said the agency initiated a probe into the racket following a directive of Patna High Court after an accused produced a fake forensic report to obtain bail. A special team headed by a deputy superintendent of police has been assigned the job, he said.

The officer, who did not want to be identified, said the high court had directed the narcotics commissioner of India, Gwalior (MP), to conduct a full-fledged inquiry into the matter arising out of Harnaut police station case (No. 195/09) in Nalanda district (Radhey Shyam Chaurasia versus state of Bihar). The case was lodged under sections 20 and 22 of the NDPS Act.

The court later directed the inspector-general of Patna and that of the CID to look into the whole gamut of the racket. Mundrika Prasad, a deputy superintendent of police posted with the CID, was entrusted with the task of investigation, the officer said.

The senior CID officer added that a list of suspects allegedly involved in the racket had already been prepared and raids were on to arrest them.


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