W Tonen, Special Judge, NDPS, Bishnupur, on Thursday convicted two women for unauthorised possession of 13 kg of opium under section 18(b) of the NDPS Act, 1985.
The two women, identified as Kimkim Haokip, aged about 50 years, wife of Heliry Haokip of Pangmol village, Kangpokpi district and Hevah Vaiphei, aged about 49 years, wife of Henthang Vaiphei of Pangmol village, Kangpokpi district were arrested with 13 kg of opium from Nachou Lamkhai area, Bishnupur district by NAB team on July 6, 2019.
An FIR No 48(7)2019 NAB-PS under section 18(b)/29 NDPS Act was registered against them and the IO of the case submitted the chargesheet against the accused persons under section 18(b)/29 NDPS Act for trial.
During the interrogation, Kikim Haokip disclosed that she and Hevah Haokip (co-accused) had collected the opium from around their villages for the purpose of selling at higher prices.
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Additional PP for the state submitted that a prima-facie case is made against the accused persons for committing the alleged offences under section18(b)/29 NDPS Act. Therefore, the additional PP prayed that the accused persons be tried by framing charges against them under the sections.
However, the counsel for the accused persons submitted that the accused persons were innocent and that the charges alleged against them were false. Therefore, the counsel prayed for discharging the accused persons from the charges alleged against them.
After considering the submission from the additional PP and counsel, the court framed charges against the accused persons under sections 18(b)/29 ND&PS Act and proceeded with the trial.
After the completion of the trial, the court convicted Kimkim Haokip under section 18(b) of the NDPS Act, 1985 for her unauthorized possession of 13 kg of opium and convicted Hevah Vaiphei, as she was part of the abetment and criminal conspiracy within the ambit of S 29 of the NDPS Act, 1985.
The court has directed the superintendent, Manipur Central Jail, Imphal to produce the convicts on May 5, 2022 for sentence hearing.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Special Judge (NDPS), Bishnupur convicted a 51-year-old man for unauthorised possession of three kg of opium under section 18 (b) of the NDPS Act, 1985.
One Thangkhanhau Zou, son of (L) Tutzathang Zou, of P Kamdou Veng, Churachandpur district was arrested with three kilograms of opium on October 31, 2015 from Okshongbung Lairenjam Leirak Machin near Citizen Club under Moirang, Bishnupur district by NAB Police Station, Imphal.
An FIR Case No 58(10)2015 NAB PS under section 18(b)/60(3) NDPS Act was registered, and it was endorsed to the investigating officer WSI Kh Kimboi Vaiphei for investigation.
The investigating officer submitted the charge sheet against the accused for trial for the offence under section 18(b)/60(3) NDPS Act.
On November 30, 2017, cognizance of the offences under section 18(b)/60(3) NDPS Act was taken by the Judge, Special Court (NDPS), Manipur, Imphal against the accused. The case was thereafter transferred to the Special Judge (NDPS) Bishnupur court on August 27, 2018.
During the prosecution, in order to prove the charges levelled against the accused, six witnesses were produced, examined, cross examined and discharged by the court.
Special public prosecutor submitted that the prosecution is able to prove the charges levelled against the accused person, thereby attracting section 18(b) of the NDPS Act, 1985, and prayed for punishment of the accused person.
The counsel for the accused person submitted that the accused is innocent and has faith in Jesus Christ and prayed for excusing him from the act which he had committed without intention.
However, the prosecution was able to prove the fact that the complainant had seized 3 Kgs of opium from the unauthorized possession of the accused on October 31, 2015 at 4.15 pm on a roadside at Okshongbung Lairenjam Leirak Machin near Citizen Club under Moirang.
There are no procedural lapses on the part of the seizing officer and the investigation of the case done by the investigating officer, the court stated.
“All are done within the ambit of the prescribed law and rules under the NDPS Act, 1985,” the court observed.
The court concluded that the prosecution was able to prove that the complainant had actually seized 3 kgs of opium from the unauthorized possession of the accused. Therefore, the accused was convicted for unauthorised possession of 3kg of opium under section 18(b) of the NDPS Act, 1985.
The court directed the special public prosecutor to take appropriate steps for disposal or destruction of the seized and exhibited (a bit less than 3 kgs) of opium.
The superintendent, Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa was directed to produce the convict on May 4, 2022 for sentence hearing.
It may be mentioned that during the interrogation, the accused disclosed that the opium was collected by him from one Sesei Haokip from Churachandpur (whose full particulars are not known to the accused) at the rate of Rs 60,000 per kg and that he (accused) is supposed to sell the same at a higher rate, at the rate of Rs 70,000 per kg at the area of Oksongbung Lairenjam Leirak through his friend Biramani Meitei, aged about 40 years of Oksongbung Lairenjam Leirak, Bishnupur for getting a share of the profit.
However, the accused stated that he did not know the full particulars of his friend. Police made attempts to arrest the drug supplier namely Sesei Haokip and Biramani Meitei but the same went in vain due to lack of full particulars of the persons.