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Drug crime

Accused denied bail in high profile drug pedaling case on the apprehension of repeating it while on bail: The High Court of Delhi

While considering an application for bail with reference to Section 37 of the NDPS Act, the court is not called upon to record a finding of “not guilty”. At this stage, it is neither necessary nor desirable to weigh the evidence meticulously to arrive at a positive finding as to whether or not the accused has committed offence under the NDPS Act. What is to be seen is whether there is reasonable ground for believing that the accused is not guilty of the offence(s) he is charged with and further that he is not likely to commit an offence under the said Act while on bail. The satisfaction of the court about the existence of the said twin conditions is for a limited purpose and is confined to the question of releasing the accused on bail. The aforesaid has been followed by the Delhi High Court while adjudicating the case of Allah Noor v. Narcotic Control Bureau [BAIL APPLN. 1207/2021] which was decided by a single judge bench comprising Justice Subramonium Prasad on 25th June 2021.

The facts of the case are as follows. On the receipt of secret information about one person carrying certain amount of heroin in his stomach, the investigating team undertook a plan and arrested the accused. On further investigation, the person arrested disclosed names and addresses of certain other people including the petitioner herein, who were a part of the same syndicate. In total, 770 grams of Heroin, 3.4 Kgs. of Heroin, 220 grams of Cocaine was recovered from all the accused. The petitioner herein filed an application for interim bail being Bail Application No.4247/2020, on the ground that he must undergo urgent surgery. Notice has been issued in the said application and it was posted for hearing on 13.04.2021. The petitioner is in custody since 23.08.2019 and has filed the instant bail application for seeking regular bail.

It was contended by the counsel for petitioner that that other than the disclosure statements, given by the petitioner under Section 67 of the NDPS Act, there is no material against the petitioner. He states that the statement given by the petitioner under Section 67 of the NDPS Act has no evidentiary value and the petitioner cannot be convicted only based on those statements. On the contrary it was contended by the counsel for respondent that the quantity of heroin and cocaine recovered in the instant case is commercial quantity. It is well settled that the jurisdiction of a Court to grant bail for offences under NDPS Act in cases of recovery of commercial quantity is circumscribed by the provision of Section 37 of the NDPS Act. A perusal of Section 37 of the NDPS Act indicates that bail can be granted only when there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of an offence, and he is not likely to commit any offence when released on bail.

The court conducted a perusal of the facts and arguments presented. It was hence of the opinion that “The well-organized operations of this syndicate shows the possibility of the petitioner indulging in the same activity again if he is released on bail. The discrepancy in the seal movement register and its effect would be considered/analysed at the stage of trial and that discrepancy alone is not sufficient for this Court to come to the conclusion that the entire case of the prosecution is false at this stage. This Court is, therefore, not inclined to grant bail to the petitioner herein. Accordingly, the bail application is dismissed along with the pending applications, if any.”

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