CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has expressed concern over the recurring instances of non-submission of chemical examination (CE) reports along with the final form while hearing bail applications in cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The single judge Bench of Justice V Narasingh while granting bail to an accused in an NDPS case, who was in custody since July 3, 2021, underlined the need for a timeline to streamline the submission of the CE report. It is an integral part of fair investigation, balancing the right of an accused as well as the societal interest represented by the prosecution, he ruled.
“The period for submission of final form under the NDPS Act has been enhanced to 180 days and under special circumstances, it can be extended up to one year. Hence, there is no justification whatsoever for the prosecution not to submit the CE Report along with the final form,” Justice Narasingh observed in the November 9 order, a copy of which was available on Tuesday.
He expected the secretary of the Home department to issue a necessary circular in this regard specifying that the same collected should be submitted to the forensic laboratory by the procedure as laid down under the NDPS Act not later than 30 days from the date of such seizure.
He also expected the circular to specify that the forensic laboratory furnishes the CE report as expeditiously as possible, preferably within 60 days of receipt of the sample of the purportedly seized narcotic substance. Departmental action would be initiated against the errant officials in the event the CE report is not submitted along with the final form.
While fixing January 4, 2024, for further consideration of the matter, Justice Narasingh sought a response in the form of an affidavit from the secretary, of the Home Department on the proposed circular.