| Forensic Science Laboratory in Patna. Telegraph picture |
A number of senior officers of the Forensic Science Laboratory are under the vigilance investigation bureau’s scanner for their alleged role in the release of several accused persons on bail in narcotics cases.
The bureau has started its probe into the release of scores of accused people on bail from court even after they were booked under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act, 1985.
The accused, hailing from Patna, Nalanda, Kaimur, Rohtas, Vaishali and Nalanda districts, have been either released on bail or exonerated of the charge on the basis of reports of the Patna-based laboratory, which in course of investigation turned out to be forged ones.
The bureau has taken up the investigation of a case lodged with the Shastrinagar police station (case number 175/07) in Patna under the NDPS Act. “Though the case was lodged earlier, it was recently transferred to the bureau for a thorough investigation,” a senior bureau officer said.
During the course of investigation, the bureau came to know about a racket thriving in the state for long and facilitating people booked under the NDPS Act to obtain bail by submitting forged forensic reports. “There have been instances when the accused have been exonerated on the basis of the forged reports sent to the court,” the officer added.
The laboratory reports were directly submitted to the district and sessions court, which is empowered to deal with such cases. In some cases, reports were sent to the high court, which suspecting a foul play, ordered the bureau to probe into the matter, a source in the state police headquarters said. “Two employees of the laboratory were arrested for allegedly sending forged reports to the court to help the accused obtain bail from the high court,” the vigilance bureau officer said.
Most of the reports were submitted during the tenure of S.B. Upadhyay, the then director of the laboratory. However, one of the employees of the laboratory was released from the police station allegedly on the directive of an IPS officer posted in Patna.
Md Mustaq, a fourth grade employee, was forwarded to jail. During interrogation, Mustaq reportedly said the reports were sent to the court in sealed envelops, so that it appeared genuine and nobody could question the authenticity. “At times, the reports were directly faxed to the court,” he told the interrogators.
Mustaq disclosed names of other employees and officials involved in the racket. The bureau is learnt to have decided to interrogate them soon. “We have sought an explanation from Upadhyay on the basis of disclosure made by Mustaq,” the officer said, adding that the former director might be interrogated if his reply was found not satisfactory.