STF Destroys Over 1.3 Kg Brown Sugar Worth Over Rs 1 Cr Seized In 2020


Bhubaneswar: The Special Task Force (STF) of the Odisha Crime Branch destroyed brown sugar weighing 01 kg 305 grams on Friday in the first case of pre-trial disposal of drugs in the State.

Section 52A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 provides for disposal of all seized drugs and psychotropic substances having regard to the hazardous nature, vulnerability to theft, substitution, and constraints of proper storage space soon after their seizure following due procedure of law.

In recent years during the massive campaign against the narcotics especially Ganja (also known as Cannabis/ Marijuana/ weeds) and Brown sugar (also known as Heroin/ smack) by Odisha police, there has been a huge piling up of seized narcotic drugs.

As the trial of narcotics cases takes time, these seized drugs remained stocked at police stations/ court Malkhanas exposed to all kinds of vulnerabilities. The piling up of seized drugs has been a cause of concern and the Supreme Court in the case of Union of India Vs. Mohanlal passed a detailed order on disposal/ destruction of seized drugs especially emphasizing pre-trial disposal of seized drugs.

However, because of some procedural and technical ambiguity/ issues, seized drugs could not be disposed of. Against this backdrop, STF approached the High Court of Odisha with a prayer for certain direction/ order to resolve the issues/hindrances involved in disposing of the seized drugs.

Finally, on 31.01.2022, the High Court of Odisha was pleased to pass a landmark judgment directing the Sub-ordinate courts to dispose of the applications filed U/s. Sec.52A of NDPS Act, 1985 issuing a detailed SOP in this regard.

Accordingly, the first-ever case of Pre-trial disposal of the seized narcotic drugs was taken up by Special Task Force, Odisha vide STF Case No. 22 dated 18.08.2020 U/s. 21(c) NDPS Act, 1985, where a bulk quantity of brown sugar i.e. 01 kg 305 grams was seized from the exclusive possession of accused persons on 18.08.2020.

The seized drugs were first authenticated/ certificated by the concerned court and handed over to the Drug disposal committee for disposal/destruction. On the decision of the Committee, yesterday i.e. on 10.06.2022 the Committee led by SP, STF; Deputy Collector, Khordha; Superintendent of Excise, Khurda; DSP, STF; in presence of Scientific Officers of State Forensic Science laboratory and Member of State Pollution Board disposed of /destructed the drugs at a designated incinerator following all due procedure.

This is the first case of pre-trial disposal of drugs in Odisha. Other many cases are under process (both at STF and district police level) for disposal/ destruction.

This is worth mentioning that at least 4500 Quintals (450 Tons) of Ganja and 104 Kg of brown sugar seized (in the last three years alone) are piled up in various court/police station Malkhana waiting for destruction. It is expected that most of the seized drugs will be destructed within 3-6 months.

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