The Delhi High Court in the case Manish Kumar Khanna v. DRI & Or’s directed the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the customs to place on its record a statement of cases under the NDPS Act and the Custom Acts which were put to trial by the respective department in various courts in the city during last five years.
The petition alleged that the persons cited as independent witness are non-existent and incomplete are non- existent and incomplete addresses of such persons are reflected in the statements as to enable the officials to later state that witness were not traceable at the stage of trial, the statements are brought on record as substantive piece of evidence and used to procure convictions of innocent’s persons it was alleged further thereafter taking shield of such applications.
Section 67 of the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and the Section 108 of the Customs Act are to be recorded to establish their credibility the orders are required to be made in the manner in which statements under these Acts are included.
Manish Khanna, an Advocate who had an elaborate practise during its course claimed that he noticed certain witnesses who are named in the in the statements and subsequently dropped, the witnesses who are always produced by the prosecution in these cases as independent witnesses.
A Division Bench comprising of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla passed an order in prosecution in NDPS cases when serious allegations raise by an Advocate of the court with respect to citing ‘Fictitious Witness’.
In 2012 the allegations were levelled by way of Public Interest Litigation. The issue raised by the prosecution cited so-called independent witness in the charge sheet, owing to which the trial proceeding are derailed.
The predecessor Bench had required the respondent- authorities to file previous five years records by keeping in view the submissions made by the petitioner supported by overwhelming documents.
In the case RK Anand Vs. Registrar, Delhi High Court the Bench has also taken note of the observations made by the Supreme Court in the above mentioned case with regard to the role and duty of the High Court in monitoring and taking a pro-active role in the manner of criminal trials being conducted and in the case Union of India Vs. Bal Mukund the same was examined by the court including the role and duty of the High Court in taking a pro-active role and monitoring of the trail cases being conducted in the court.
The respondent authorities giving contradictory addresses and the officials the petitioner cited instances of the so- called independent witness.