Delhi High Court issues notice to MHA on plea claiming heroin worth Rs 5 lakh disappeared from govt seizure records

The Delhi High Court today issued notice on a petition against the irregularities between the figures reported by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and the data provided by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the seizure of heroin during the years 2018 and 2020.

A single judge bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad issued notice on the plea filed by B.R. Aravindakshan, a journalist by profession. The High Court sought a response from the Centre through the Ministries of Home Affairs and Finance as well as NCRB. The matter is scheduled for further hearing on September 09.

The plea mentioned that the NCRB report shows that there was a seizure of 22,263.1 kg of heroin in India in 2018 and 55,804.540 kg in 2020. It pointed out that the data provided by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, by way of replies to unstarred questions in the parliament, states that only 19,691.155 kg of heroin was seized in 2018. It is the journalist's case that the aforesaid reflects a discrepancy of 2,571.945 kg.

The plea underlined that at the same time 50,000.387 kg of heroin in Sikkim and 3,200.172 kg in Manipur were seized. It added that the concerned authorities denied these quantities being seized by their agencies. It said that the Sikkim State Police confirmed a negligible seizure, conflicting with the MHA's claim.  It added that in 2018, Sikkim was reported to have seized 15,000 kg of heroin, but no agency claimed responsibility for the same.

According to the petition, nearly 70,772.544 kg of heroin disappeared from seizure records between 2018 and 2020 and the estimated worth of the missing heroin is around Rs. 5 lakh crores. The petition submitted that on the verge of attaining and accomplishing Drug-Free India, the statistical first-hand data is the sole driving factor that provokes the efficient working of the campaign against Drug. 

It continued that considering the Paramount importance being placed on the reports published by the NCRB and the communications with the Political Representatives, it is important that these numbers are not just numbers but facts built up with authenticity and accountability.

The plea further sought a direction on the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to consider the complaint or representation made by the petitioner in September 2022. It also urged for a direction on MHA to provide the records pertaining to the mode of seizure and disposal of the seized drugs in India for the years 2018 to 2022.

Additionally, the plea sought direction on MHA to take necessary steps or investigation within a stipulated time period. It also prayed to constitute a State Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the missing heroin seizure.