Imphal, May 23 :
The granting of bail to the former Chairman of ADC Chandel, Lhukhosei Zou, who was arrested with a huge consignment of drugs, by the Special Judge of ND & PS Aribam Noutuneshwari, has been seriously questioned from various legal practitioners as well as the investigation officer of the case.
Zou was released on bail on Medical ground on May 21 by the same court. While hearing the bail, Justice A. Noutuneshwari was quoted as saying “Everyone is innocent until one is proven guilty. Hence ADC, the undertrial prisoner is innocent to me until proven guilty,”. In her Facebook post Thounaojam Brinda Devi, Additional Superintendent of Police, NAB, who is also the Investigation Officer of the case wrote that Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act carries the reverse burden of proof with a culpable mental state of the accused. He is presumed to be guilty consequent to the recovery of contraband from him, and it is for the accused to establish his innocence unlike the normal rule of criminal jurisprudence that an accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty. But that does not absolve the prosecution from establishing a prima facie case only whereafter the burden shifts to the accused. And she further wrote that drugs seized from his possession are prima facie case (prima facie case haibabu mashadei phabani drug mayamdoh).
Talking to Imphal Times a legal practitioner said that the granting of bail on Medical ground to Lhokhosei Zou for undergoing treatment of Cholescystectomy as unreasonable as such treatment or surgery can be done while in custody.
“Emergency or extraordinary surgery or treatment are arranged in the government hospital even at this time of COVID-19 pandemic and similar can be arranged for the drug kingpin”, a legal practitioner told Imphal Times in state of anonymity.
Mentioned may be made that in 2018, Zou was released on bail under similar circumstances and disappeared from the hospital. He was pronounced as absconder until he surrendered in the court in 2020.
- Published in News