Special Court (ND&PS), Manipur, on Thursday acquitted former chairman of Autonomous District Council (ADC), Chandel district, Lhukhosei Zou from the infamous 2018 multi-crore drug seizure case. While acquitting the former ADC chairman, the court convicted two accused of the case, Thangminlun Zou and Tung Khan Mung Zou, under the NDPS Act, 1985.
While pronouncing the judgment of the case, judge W Tonen Meitei of the special court fixed the sentence hearing of the two convicts on December 21, 2020. The judge acquitted Lhukhosei Zou and others from the case as the prosecution could not prove the charges levelled against them.
The judge further ordered releasing them from the judicial custody where they are lodged since they were arrested by the police on June 20, 2018. The former ADC chairman was arrested along with seven others by a team of Narcotic and Affairs of Border (NAB) police and Imphal West on June 20, 2018.
While the chargesheet filed against Zou on December 15 of the same year, he was released on interim bail on December 19 on health grounds. On January 8, 2019, when his routine court appearance came, he failed to turn up and since then remained traceless. Accordingly, the state government declared him as an absconder.
However, he surrendered to the court in February this year. Zou appeared in the special court in person after the court allowed a plea submitted by his counsel to allow his client to surrender and participate in the trial on February 28, 2020.
The court immediately sent Zou to judicial custody.
The former ADC chairman was elected as the member of district council on Congress ticket and later joined the BJP to form the local body government in Chandel.