Anant Vardhan Pathak's lawyers point finger at I-T

Friday, 17 January 2014 - 9:51am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Special Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) court on Thursday remanded Anant Vardhan Pathak, Yash Birla Group executive, and his two associates in judicial custody till January 31, after the prosecution told the court that they have completed the investigation in the case.

Meanwhile, the defence advocates in the case maintained that the case appears to be a suspect and that one cannot rule out the possibility of income tax officials’ role in planting the drug.

The Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) senior advocate, Francis Saldanha, while seeking judicial custody for the accused, told the court that the agency had completed the investigation. Thus, the agency pleaded the court to remand Pathak in judicial custody. Advocate Saldanha told dna: “We have completed investigation in the case. Now our focus is to find the drugs peddlers who supplied the drug. Once we nab the supplier, the agency will be successful in busting the racket.”

The advocates appearing for the three accused have applied for bail in the NDPS court presided by judge AG Bilolikar.

Advocate Ayaz Khan, appearing for Pathak, said: “The case appears to be a suspect. My client was in the I-T officials’ custody from January 7 till January 10, thus we cannot rule out the possibility of the I-T officials planting the drug in the hotel room, where Vardhan was residing.”

The prosecution is likely to file a reply on the bail applications on Friday.

Pathak, Yash Birla Group president, corporate communications and corporate affairs, his personal security officer, Dilip Palekar, 31, and his peon Dharmu Rathod, 29, have been arrested under sections 8(c) r/w 21 (b) (purchase, consumption and use of narcotics drugs), 28 and 29 (abetment and criminal conspiracy) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.

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