K’taka HC quashes proceedings against Delhi-based event manager in drug cases

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has quashed proceedings against Viren Khanna, a Delhi-based event manager and socialite, in two drug cases and underlined procedural lapses by the Bengaluru police who lodged the cases against him.

Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar, while giving the order on Friday, noted not only the FIR, but also the charge sheet against the petitioner needs to be quashed.

Khanna claimed that he was implicated as accused number 5 in FIR no 508/2018, in connection with seizure of narcotics on November 2, 2018.

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Khanna also maintained that he was implicated as accused number 4 based on statements of another accused Ravishankar in FIR number 109/2020 registered in Cottonpet police station. His counsel argued that two alleged incidents constitute distinct offenses and police should have registered separate FIR’s.

The bench stated, whenever the police come across past crimes, they can file separate cases and charge sheets if all offenses cannot be treated jointly as per CrPC Section 219. It further noted that one FIR would suffice for offenses allegedly committed in 2015, 2018 and 2019.

According to the charge sheet, the last date of petitioner’s involvement was on March 8, 2020 in a party arranged at a five-star hotel.

It doesn’t disclose his involvement in any offense committed after that and therefore, it is not understandable as to how petitioner could have been arraigned as accused number 3 in FIR number 109/2020. Not only the FIR, but also the charge sheet against the petitioner should be quashed, the bench observed.

The petitioner’s counsel highlighted the procedural lapse. The bench also stated that though this petition is allowed, it should not be understood that the petitioner can’t be prosecuted without following the procedures established by law.

The bench also stated that permission is accorded to the prosecution agency to set right all procedural mistakes and take action against the petitioner in accordance with law.

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