BMW crash: Nooriya Haveliwala benefited from police goof-up

Thursday

Court drops NDPS charge against beautician as police fail to send blood samples to lab in time.

A week after NRI beautician Nooriya Haveliwala was arrested in a drink-driving case, the LT Marg police had on "expert advice" applied a Section under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act for consumption of drugs. However, the basic procedure of collection of blood samples was not carried out by the police as per the norms. This eventually led to the court acquitting Haveliwala of the NDPS charge on Thursday.

"The sample was sent to the laboratory almost three days after the incident. Blood tends to react with the chemical present and hence if the tests are delayed, accurate reading cannot be obtained," said public prosecutor Kiran Raikar, citing reasons for dropping of Section 27 of the NDPS Act against her.

On her arrest, Haveliwala was charged under Sections pertaining to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, causing grievous hurt, rash and negligent driving, and under relevant Sections of Motor Vehicles Act, NDPS Act, and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. Only later, the NDPS Act was invoked and her case was sent to the special NDPS court.

While Haveliwala had maintained that she was under the influence of medicines administered by her father for cold and cough, the police had claimed that she was high on alcohol and drugs. On the drug content, the court observed: "On that score, no positive evidence is adduced. Neither medical officers nor the chemical analysis were suggestive on this score."

Reacting to Haveliwala's conviction for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said, "We welcome the decision of the court, especially the conviction for culpable homicide. It will prove as a strong deterrent to those who drive after consuming drugs or alcohol."

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