The Hush Post: A district court has convicted 10 persons accused of tampering samples of confiscated drug consignments and preparing negative reports to support drug peddlers during their court appearances.
The staff members are employees and lab-incharge at the Kharar Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL). The convicts also include head constables of Punjab Police. All have been found guilty of cheating, forgery of valuable security, and criminal conspiracy. The sentence will be given on March 21.
Apart from the lab’s in-charge and assistant chemical examiner Dr Rajwinderpal Singh, the court also convicted laboratory analyst Shingara Ram, Lekh Raj, Class-4 employees Jagdeep Singh, Darshan Singh, lab employees Gurjant Singh, computer operator Parveen Arora, and head constables Rakesh Kumar, Hardev Singh, and Ashwini Kumar.
Six people, including Class-IV lab employees Kumar Mishra, Charanjeet Singh, Sandeep, Rajesh Vinay Kumar and Karu Lal, and advocate Harish Ahuja, were acquitted for want of evidence. Manjit Singh, who was another accused died during the trial.
Dr Rajwinderpal was found guilty for preparing fake reports of seized contraband in cahoots with his colleagues.
How the scam came to light
An accused Vinay Kumar and Karu Lal were booked by the Shambu police station Patiala on July 11, 2012 after recovery of 20kg of opium and 100 gram of heroine. The accused hired advocate Harish Ahuja. Samples of the drugs seized were sent to the Kharar FSL, where its in-charge Dr Rajwinderpal was allegedly friends with Harish. As per the police, Rs 2.5 lakh was paid to Dr Rajwinderpal to tamper the sample report. In a similar case related to Fazilka, Ferozepur, some money was transferred in the account of laboratory’s Class-4 employees Jagdeep and Darshan. Subsequently, the sample report was changed from positive to negative. Meanwhile, Darshan and Jagdeep were transferred to Punjab Health Systems Corporation, and Shingara Ram helped the accused in their place.
In another FIR registered at Jalandhar, money was given to Shinghara and Darshan to forge the reports.
The accused lab staff allegedly tampered the reports with the help of fellow assistants Rajesh Mishra, while Class-4 employees Darshan and Jagdeep negotiated with the police about the money to be paid.