The court held the seized contraband would have been certainly circulated amongst the venerable section of society but for its timely capture by the officers.
MUMBAI: Refusing to grant leniency to a 30-year-old Zimbabwean national who sought it on the grounds of being HIV-positive, a special NDPS court on Friday convicted and sentenced her to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment after she was caught by the NCB with 946 gram of cocaine concealed in her stomach and rectum in 78 oval shaped pellets, on her arrival in the city from UAE in 2015.
The court held the seized contraband would have been certainly circulated amongst the venerable section of society but for its timely capture by the officers. “Considering the nature of the offence and the threats it causes to the health and social security of the public, particularly the youth, and its adverse effect on the economic, cultural and social foundation of the society, it does not appear to this court that the accused deserves a much lenient and liberal consideration,” Special Judge AA Joglekar said.
The woman was also fined Rs 2 lakh.
It was the prosecution’s case that the NCB was acting on secret information it had received on November 23, 2015. It said the following morning, the woman was identified and stopped as she crossed the customs clearance with her baggage. After a search was conducted, nothing incriminating was found in it. The NCB then requested her to accompany them for a thorough medical examination at a government hospital.
Subsequently, after obtaining permission from the magistrate’s court, the woman was taken to J J Hospital.
The prosecution said during her medical examination, a woman doctor informed the officers that two oval-shaped pellets were recovered from the woman’s rectum. Suspecting more pellets, she was admitted to the hospital for their “release or surgical removal”. The prosecution further submitted that between November 24 and 29, 2015, the woman “released” a total of 78 pellets through her rectum “randomly and intermittently” which were cleaned and kept under the custody of the on duty staff nurse under lock and key.
On December 2 it was handed over to the NCB.
It was alleged that the pellets were cut open and a white-coloured solid lump-like substance was recovered from each. A drug detection kit detected the substances to be cocaine, the prosecution submitted.
While the NDPS Act qualifies 2 gram of cocaine as small quantity, commercial quantity is quantified at 100 gram or more. The woman in her defence had claimed the 78 pellets were concealed in her body by her friend after she was intoxicated by him and she did not know about their presence.
The court, though, said, “On going through the entire evidence adduced by the witnesses, it does not create any manner of doubt on the fact that the accused has the real knowledge of the nature of the substance kept in her possession. The rival defence put forth by the accused does not inspire any confidence.”