High Court: Set up separate FSL for testing drugs

The SPP should also try to persuade the Home department to provide field test kits to all police stations in Karnataka


BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court said the State Public Prosecutor (SPP) should try and persuade the State government to establish a separate Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for testing narcotic drugs and contraband articles, till the Central government establishes a separate FSL for the analysis of narcotic drugs within 15 days, the time prescribed by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) guidelines.

Justice Court
Picture: Pixabay

The SPP should also try to persuade the Home department to provide field test kits to all police stations in Karnataka, if not already provided, the court said. Justice K Natarajan passed this order while rejecting the bail petition filed by Arjav Deepak Mehta, who was arrested by Jeevan Bima Nagar police after seizure of commercial quantity of contraband, which he had allegedly received through post.

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The judge directed the Registry to send a copy of this order to the chief secretary and additional chief secretary, Home department. The court noted that though police sent the samples to FSL, the report was not received.

Picture: Pixabay

NCB guidelines say the result should be received within 15 days for investigation, but are not binding on the FSL. Since there is only one FSL in Bengaluru for all of Karnataka, a huge number of samples were sent in a day, and it is not possible for the lab to give a report to the police within 15 days, the court said.

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The judge said that if NCB guidelines should be followed mandatorily, the NCB should have its own FSL for the purpose of chemical analysis, or getting results within 15 days is not practically possible.

Therefore, failure to get results in 15 days is not ground for granting of bail to the petitioner, the court said. On a field test kit not carried by an officer during the raid, the court said that NCB issued guidelines to Drug Law Enforcement Officers to carry the kit while raiding. But in this case, police carried out the raid, and are not expected to carry a kit all the time.

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