Sandalwood Drug Case: Karnataka HC dismisses plea seeking transfer of matter to NIA

Karnataka High Court
India Legal

Synopsis: The Court acknowledged that the FIR had been registered very recently and, thus, it can not be concluded that the investigation was not properly conducted.

A petition seeking the transfer of the Sandalwood Drug Scandal case involving Kannada actresses Ragini Dwivedi, Sanjjana Galrani and others to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was dismissed by the Karnataka High Court on Monday.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi concluded that it is not necessary for the Court at this stage to examine whether NIA can be named to investigate the said offence.
The Bench also went through the First Information Report (FIR) during the hearing, which was reported at the Cottonpet police station on September 4 against the two famous Kannada actresses and others.
The Court noted that the FIR had been registered quite recently and, thus, it can not be concluded that the investigation was not properly performed.

Sandalwood Drug Case
New Indian Express

Initially, the petition filed by Geetha Misra through Advocate GR Mohan requested a transfer to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for the Sandalwood drug case. However, Mohan pressed for the transfer of the case to the NIA during the course of the hearing.
The Court had declined to identify a SIT to review the case. The order identifies a sweeping prayer to nominate SIT to generally investigate the Karnataka illicit drug racket. A SIT may be assigned to investigate a particular offence at the highest level. Generally, SIT can not be named for investigation of the suspected drug racket in Karnataka or Bengaluru.
The petitioner also claimed that she had provided the Additional Chief Secretary of the Home Department with a representation, citing separate instances of road accidents involving high society individuals who were under the influence of narcotics.
In response to this, the Court held that the petition relied on several incidents from 2017 to 2019. It has not been stated whether FIR has been registered in all cases or whether or not the investigation is complete. A writ of mandamus can not be issued on the basis of such representation. The petition would have to be very clear in specific situations where there has not been a thorough investigation.
Dwivedi and Galrani have recently been taken into custody for allegedly possessing and distributing illegal narcotic drugs at parties and activities they used to organise. A Special NDPS Court declined to give bail to the actresses on Monday.


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