10-year RI, Rs 1 lakh fine for 2 drug peddlers

Bhubaneswar: The special judge of sessions court, Bhubaneswar, Friday sentenced two drug peddlers to ten years of rigorous imprisonment each in a NDPS case here. The convicts were also fined Rs 1 lakh each failing which they will have to undergo an additional jail term of three months.

The convicts were identified as Kedar Pradhan, 26, and Mrututynjaya Pradhan, 19, of Fasiguda village under the Digapahandi police station limits of Ganjam.

According to the case details, Excise sleuths deployed at Kalinga Vihar Square on the outskirts of the city along NH 5 intercepted a TATA Ace (OR 072 3638) on suspicion of carrying some illegal substances on January 20, 2016. The accused, along with the driver, a minor, were carrying the contraband to Bhubaneswar. Initially, they objected to Excise officials checking them, but later, after the arrival of police, they acquiesced to the search.

During the search operation, ten polythene bags were found containing ganja weighing around 330 kg. The search was conducted in the presence of one independent witness and a judicial magistrate.

The minor driver, Balaram, was produced before the Juvenile Justice Board while Kedar and Mrutuynjaya  were tried at the Sessions Court after registering a case under Section 20(b)(ii)(c) of the NDPS Act. The Excise Department had produced 23 documents and four witnesses before the judge.