A man has been sentenced to ten years rigorous imprisonment for possessing 500 grams of heroin by a Delhi court which said non-joining of public witnesses does not become a ground for acquittal.

Special NDPS judge Anuradha Shukla Bharadwaj held Zakir, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, guilty under the provisions of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and also imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on him.

The court, while convicting Zakir, noted that though there were no public witnesses, the prosecution had succeeded in proving the charges against him.

"…non joining of public witnesses does not become a ground for acquittal of the accused since the case of the prosecution is otherwise?proved?on all material aspects," the judge said while relying on the statements of police witnesses and the inquiry conducted by them.

"Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, since the commercial quantity of heroin has been recovered from the possession of the convict, he can’t be convicted for anything less than the minimum prescribed punishment for the offence," the judge said.

It also noted that Zakir could not prove that he was falsely implicated by police.

According to the prosecution, on September 4, 2012, a raiding team of Narcotics Cell apprehended Zakir from near Akshardham Metro Station here after receiving a tip-off from an informer.

On being searched, Zakir was found with 500 grams of heroin which he had hidden in polythene bags in his pocket, it said.

During the proceedings, Zakir denied the allegations and claimed that he was falsely implicated by police who lifted him from the house of his relative.