Weight of blotter paper integral to decide LSD quantity under NDPS, rules HC

PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 29-11-2021 18:48 IST | Created: 29-11-2021 18:16 IST
Weight of blotter paper integral to decide LSD quantity under NDPS, rules HC
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The Bombay High Court on Monday ruled that the weight of the blotter paper was an integral part of seized contraband and ought to be included while weighing Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, or LSD, to decide the commercial quantity for prosecution under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

A single bench of Justice Revati Mohite Dere noted that LSD put on a blotter paper is capable of being swallowed after it is placed on the tongue. The ruling was given in an appeal filed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) challenging a special court order in the case of Anuj Keshwani, an accused in the drug case related to the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

The special court had directed the NCB to send the samples to Gujarat FSL to ascertain the weight of purported LSD sans the blotting paper.

The HC, while allowing the appeal, held that the weight of the blotter paper would also have to be considered.

''I am of the view that the blotter paper forms an integral part of the LSD, when put on a blotter paper for consumption and, as such, the weight of the blotter paper containing LSD will have to be considered i.e. actual weight, to determine the small or commercial quantity of the offending drug,'' Justice Dere said.

"LSD put on a blotter paper is capable of being swallowed, after placing it on the tongue. It is thus evident that the blotter paper is capable of being swallowed and is used as one of the methods for consuming LSD,'' the order said.

Merely because the said blotter paper can be licked or put in a glass of water does not necessarily mean that the blotter paper has to be excluded while determining the LSD on the blotter paper, it added.

Justice Dere further noted that the NDPS Act never intended to exclude the quantity of the neutral substance and to consider only the actual content by weight of the contraband.

"It is also pertinent to note that illicit drugs are seldom sold in a pure form. They are always adulterated or cut with other substances or put in gelatin or blotter paper, as in the present case," the order said.

Setting aside the order of the special court, Justice Dere directed the NCB to send the blotting paper to the Forensic Science Laboratory at Gandhinagar in Gujarat within one week for testing to determine whether every blotter paper has LSD.

The NCB had seized 32 blotter papers from Keshwani of various colors. The FSL conducted a random test and confirmed that LSD was present on it. However, it was not clear whether the FSL had tested all the 32 blotter papers to determine the presence of LSD on it.

On this, Justice Dere said the FSL ought to have conducted an individual test of every blot paper to ascertain whether it has LSD on it. ''The NDPS Act provides stringent punishment, and hence, it was incumbent to test every blot paper for LSD. A few blot papers may test positive for LSD and some may not,'' the order said.

Justice Dere, in the order, directed the FSL to submit a report before the trial court in six weeks of receiving the sample, adding that FSL will give the weight of each blot paper purportedly containing LSD on it.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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