A man who was sentenced to jail for 15 years for allegedly possessing narcotic drugs has been acquitted by the Supreme Court, which relied on a bus ticket to hold that the police's version about the timing of his arrest was "seriously doubtful".
The apex court set aside the judgement of the Shimla High Court which had convicted the man under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and had given him a 15-year jail term, along with a fine of Rs two lakh.
A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Navin Sinha questioned the prosecution's story that Naresh Kumar was travelling in a bus from Nerwa to Chamunda in Himachal Pradesh and was apprehended at Majhotli at 6.15 one morning.
"Prima facie, the prosecution story that the appellant (Kumar) was apprehended at Majhotli at 6.15 AM becomes seriously doubtful if not impossible. The bus would have reached Majhotli at about 8.00 AM or thereafter only," the bench said.
It further noted that ticket was issued to Kumar by the bus conductor at 6.51 AM.
Kumar had moved the apex court challenging the high court's verdict about the 2012 incident.
According to the police, he was caught at Majhotli at about 6.15 AM after he got off the bus and two kilograms of 'charas' were allegedly recovered from a bag in his possession.
Kumar's counsel had argued in the apex court that he had been falsely implicated in the case.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)