AGRA: A 37-year-old man from Agra, booked in a “fake” case and sent to jail two years ago under the stringent Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, has been acquitted by a local court. Ankit Gupta, who used to work as a salesman for a food product firm, had to spend eight months in jail before he managed to get bail. He had no criminal history, and during the ensuing two-year trial, police could not provide “any reasonable evidence” against him before the court.
In the chargesheet, police claimed “35 packets of marijuana, weighing 74.9 kg, were recovered from his car”.
Ankit told TOI on Saturday that on March 12, 2021, he had hosted a party at his house as it was his wedding anniversary and his car was parked outside. “Two policemen barged into my house and hurled abuses, asking me to remove the car,” he said.
Ankit landed in a brief argument with the cops who were in civil dress. Soon, three more cops in uniform arrived and took away Ankit. The next day, he was booked under the NDPS Act and sent to jail. An FIR was registered following a complaint by sub-inspector Vipin Kumar.
Ankit added: “The policemen took me to various locations. I was beaten. They threatened to send me to jail if I did not pay them Rs 3 lakh. Unable to arrange the money, I was booked in a fake case. I had to spend eight months in jail and undergo two years of intense legal battle. I lost my job and my reputation.”
Defence counsel Vinay Gaur said, “Police cooked up a fictitious case against an innocent man. The prosecution was not able to produce any public witnesses. Police claimed that Ankit was arrested with marijuana in his car near a prominent hospital. Despite multiple CCTV cameras in the area, no footage concerning the case was tabled in the court.”
Provisions under section 50 of the NDPS Act puts as duty upon the investigating officer to intimate the accused of his rights, including the vital right to be searched before a magistrate or a gazetted officer. “Police didn’t ensure compliance with the legal provisions, mandated under the NDPS Act,” Gaur said, adding, “Statement of an AC mechanic who was working at his home on the day the police picked him also played a crucial role in his acquittal.”
Ankit said, “I belong to a respectable family. My late father was an executive engineer with the irrigation department. No person in my contact, including distant relatives, had ever been in conflict with the law… The court finally absolved me of all the charges, but I cannot forget the police atrocities against me. Now I just want to live in peace.”

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