Can excise ED probe inter state drug dealings?: Hyderabad High Court

The bench asked the state government to furnish the information in a week.

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to explain whether the excise enforcement department was empowered to investigate the drug trafficking cases. It asked which was the competent agency to investigate drug cases, where cross border transactions were involved.

The bench asked the state government to furnish the information in a week.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice J. Uma Devi was dealing with a public interest litigation filed by Telangana TD leader A. Revanth Reddy.

The petitioner urged the High Court to direct the government to entrust the investigations to the Narcotics Control Bureau, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, the Enforcement Directorate or the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Ms B. Rachna Reddy, the counsel for the petitioner, contended that the state excise enforcement depar-tment had no power to investigate the drug-trafficking cases; it only had the power to take preventive measures, catch offenders and hand them over to the investigation agencies for further action.

She has submitted that the Special Investigation Team constituted to probe the case itself had admitted that cross-border transactions were involved in the case.

She said that in such circumstances only specialised agencies had the jurisdiction to consult their counterparts in the cross-border transactions can unravel the nexus.

Ms Reddy urged the court to direct the government to hand over the case to any of the Central agencies and direct the SIT work in coordination with the specialised agencies to unravel the drug nexus.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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