The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bail for Rahul as police slip

New Delhi, June 14: Rahul Mahajan walked into the arms of his crying mother Rekha on his release this evening as police failed to make a case for his continued custody.

Poonam, his sister, said: “My brother is innocent.”

Rahul headed home to 7, Safdarjung Road, the scene of the dramatic events of the night of June 1-2, after a special court granted him bail, but told him not to leave Delhi without permission.

The murdered BJP leader Pramod Mahajan’s son had to submit a bail bond of Rs 2 lakh and would have to surrender his passport in 24 hours as the court turned its eyes to the manner of Delhi police’s investigation.

The judge said: “The prosecution has not placed on record any material except the disclosure statement of co-accused Sahil (Zaroo) that the quantity of drugs was 7 grams.”

Citing a recent case in which the accused was acquitted as the prosecution had not got the drug quality tested, special judge Swarna Kanta Mehra said the police had made the same mistake again.

According to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory report, the drugs allegedly consumed that night were a mix of cocaine and heroin.

The police altered the charges they had originally framed against Rahul, which might well have weakened the case.

Rahul had been charged with the consumption and possession of a small quantity of narcotics under Section 21/61/85 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. These offences are bailable. That is the possible reason the police later also charged him under Sections 25, 27, 27(a) and 29.

While the added sections constitute non-bailable offences, they also require greater evidence, which the police have been unable to provide.

Section 27 deals with the quantity of drugs involved. Initially, the police told the metropolitan magistrate they were unable to state the quantity until the forensic report clarified the amount of narcotics consumed by Rahul.

The report came, but the police had no quantity to place before the court. At that time, they had confidently claimed that this point would not affect the case.

After the arrest of co-accused Sahil, the police claimed the Kashmiri boy had admitted to purchasing 5 gm of cocaine. The next day they changed the quantity to 7 gm.

Possession of over 5 gm of cocaine is a non-bailable offence.

But Sahil’s statement was the only evidence the police had to place before the special court and they could not explain the sudden appearance of an additional 2 gm.

The police could also not prove the charge of financing and harbouring those involved in the narcotics trade under Section 27(a).

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