Relief for Kerala beautician implicated in false LSD case; seeks prosecution of those who framed her

The woman demands compensation and stern action against those who fabricated the case against her; excise department places officer under suspension.

ByK A Shaji

Published Jul 06, 2023 | 12:57 PMUpdatedJul 06, 2023 | 1:17 PM

Sheela Sunny

Sheela Sunny can now hold her head high, though she had lost 1,728 hours of her life to the alleged designs of a sly relative and an apparently overenthusiastic excise officer.

Declaring her innocent, the High Court of Kerala quashed the First Information Report (FIR) and further legal proceedings against Sunny, who was falsely implicated in a drug case.

“What I have won now is partial relief. The high court has done its part. But I want sufficient compensation and criminal proceedings initiated against those who had fabricated the case against me. Only then would I get total relief,” she told South First on Thursday, 6 July.

Sunny said that she was “trapped” by a close relative and also demanded a detailed probe to find the real culprits.

Related: Ordeal of Kerala woman who spent 72 days in jail in fake case

Investigating officer suspended

The excise officer, K Satheesan, who arrested Sunny in February, has been placed under suspension. Excise Minister MB Rajesh had assured Sunny on 2 July that those responsible for her trauma would not be spared.

The police and Excise Crime Branch are now searching for Sunny’s relative, reportedly a woman studying in Bengaluru. The woman has gone into hiding after the media reported the traumatic experience Sunny, 51, had to undergo.

The Excise Crime Branch took over the case after the woman’s husband complained to the chief minister.

Lab scoffs at evaporation theory

Excise Inspector Satheesan and team arrested Sunny from her house at Chalakkudy on 27 February after “seizing” 12 Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) stamps, totalling 0.106 grams, from her bag and the glove compartment of her scooter.


Sheela Sunny after her release from jail. (Supplied)

A WhatsApp call had tipped the excise officer off about the chemical drug in Sunny’s “possession”.

She was taken to an excise officer at Irinjalakkuda, around 15 km from Chalakkudy, and was remanded in judicial custody for the next 72 days until she received bail. The arrest was widely reported in the media.

The anti-climax to Satheesan’s narrative came after a scientific test conducted at the Chemical Examiner’s Laboratory at Kakkanad in Kochi found that the seized materials did not have any trace of LSD.

By then, she had lost the beauty parlour she had been running at Chalakkudy in the Thrissur district — and her reputation.

It has been alleged that though the lab had handed over the result in May, it was kept under wraps. Sunny received a copy of the test result only on 27 June.

After the media reported Sunny’s release, Satheesan claimed that he had seized LSD stamps from her possession, and their narcotic content evaporated due to the delay in testing them. The laboratory scoffed at Satheesan and came in defence of the women. It said the test result was accurate.

Also read: Kerala fighting hard against drug menace among schoolchildren

Relief from high court

On Wednesday, 05 July, Justice Kauser Edappagath of the high court quashed the FIR and observed that the stamps seized from her did not contain any narcotic substance. The court also recorded that the beautician was not an accused in the case.

The order came on Sunny’s plea seeking to quash the case against her. The petition accused laxity on the party of the investigating officer.

Speaking to Sunny over the phone on Sunday, Minister Rajesh apologised for the lapse of his department.

(With PTI inputs)