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Drug case: Karnataka HC quashes proceedings against actress Sanjana Galrani, Bengaluru-based realtor

The complainant claimed to have discovered certain names of individuals in pursuance of the enquiry made as well as voluntary statement of one BK Ravishankar recorded under section 67 of the NDPS Act.
Last Updated : 24 June 2024, 15:33 IST

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka high court has quashed proceedings against Shivaprakash alias Chippi, a city-based realtor, actress Sanjana Galrani and another accused Aditya Mohan Agarwal in the drugs case.

The court noted that while the petitioners were chargesheeted for the offences relating to the year 2015, 2018 and 2019 for which the FIR was registered in 2020 in connection with offences said to have been committed between April and September 2020. Justice Hemant Chandanagoudar said in view of CrPC Section 219(1), it was necessary for the police to register separate FIRs.

The FIR was registered on the basis of the suo motu complaint filed with the Cottonpet police by KC Goutham, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Central Crime Branch (CCB). 

The allegation was that the complainant had information about consumption of narcotics in parties organized in various hotels and other places visited by celebrities, DJs (disc jockeys), software engineers and others.

The complainant claimed to have discovered certain names of individuals in pursuance of the enquiry made as well as voluntary statement of one BK Ravishankar recorded under section 67 of the NDPS Act.

After filing of the chargesheet, the Special Judge had taken cognizance of the charges by an order dated March 8, 2021 for offences punishable under sections 21, 21(c), 27(b), 27A, 29 of NDPS Act read with IPC section 120(B). Advocate Amar Correa, appearing for Shivaprakash, submitted that BK Ravishankar’s statement did not disclose the commission of offence alleged against the petitioner. It was also submitted that no recovery was made and the petitioner was not subjected to chemical analysis to establish that he had consumed drugs.

Senior advocate Hashmath Pasha, who appeared for the other two petitioners, contended that without registration of FIRs for the alleged past incidents stated to have taken place during 2015-2019 period, the charge sheet submitted for April - September 2020 lacks authority.

Justice Chandanagoudar noted that Ravishankar’s statement only alleged that Shivaprakash was involved in consuming liquor and smoking in the parties and that there was no allegation against him of either procuring or supplying or consuming drugs. Insofar as Sanjana, the court said that in January 2022, the high court had quashed the case against another accused Virendra Khanna, who was facing similar charges.

“The petitioners - accused herein have been chargesheeted for the offences relating to the year 2015, 2018 and 2019. however, the FIR in Crime No.109/2020 was in connection with offences said to have been committed between 11.4.2020 to 4.9.2020, and in view of Section 219(1) of Cr.PC, the petitioners cannot be tried for earlier offences alleged to have been committed, and it was necessary for the police to register separate FIRs as ruled by the coordinate Bench of this Court in WP No.1983/2021. Therefore, the continuation of the criminal proceedings against the petitioners will be an abuse of the process of law,” the court said.

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Published 24 June 2024, 15:33 IST

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