While acquitting Babu Khan, Shokeen Ali, Liyakat Ali and Shehzad Ali, all residents of Uttar Pradesh, special judge Sanjay Sharma said they were not apprised about their legal right to be searched in presence of a gazetted officer or a magistrate and therefore "such recovery cannot be made basis of conviction".

"This court is of the opinion that sub-inspector Sunil Jain failed to produce the accused persons before the gazetted officer or magistrate despite availability... Investigating officer (IO) Satish Rana also did not investigate the case properly," the judge said.

"This court hereby directs Commissioner of Police to take appropriate action against the erring police officials," the judge said.

The court noted that as the accused were not taken to any gazetted officer or magistrate for conducting their search, the cops violated the mandatory provision of section 50 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Highlighting the discrepancies in the probe, the court said, "Last but not the least, the accused persons were not produced before the officer-in-charge of the nearest police station after their arrest."

It said, "Police station Anand Vihar was at a stone's throw away from the alleged place of apprehension but the accused persons were not produced before officer-in-charge of the said police station as required under section 55 of the NDPS Act".

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