Cannabis would attract Section 21(c) NDPS Act, hence Section 37 to come to play: High Court Of Meghalaya

The court finds that there are no rational grounds to believe that the accused persons are not guilty of such offense. Such an opinion was held by The Hon’ble High Court Meghalaya before The Hon’ble Mr. Justice W. Diengdoh in the matter of Azibar Rahman Vs. State of Meghalaya [BA. No. 10 of 2021]. 

The fact of the case was related to the filing of an application by the petitioner under 439 Cr. PC r/w Section 36-A (3) of the NDPS Act. The petitioner by filing such sought bail grant to 2(two) indicted persons namely Sonowal Ali and Jahal Uddin who were arrested on 30.04.2021 in connection with Jowai PS Case No. 50(4)2021 u/s 8(e)/21(c) NDPS Act. S.I of Phramer Traffic Cell, Shri A. R. Marak lodged an FIR because, during Naka checking near Pharmer, National Highway-6, a truck that refused to stop was chased down by the police near toll gate Lalong on National Highway-6. On checking the truck, some suspicious packages which appeared to be contraband items were found. Thereof, the afore-mentioned accused persons were forwarded to judicial custody. 

After thorough interrogation and investigation, it seemed that the said accused person had no knowledge regarding the contraband items. Further, both the accused were being innocent and they had no intention to tamper with the evidence. Later, it was submitted that one of the co-accused in the case was released on bail. Afterwards, it was revealed that the indicted persons Sonowar Ali and Jahan Uddin were detained along with another person Amit Sarkar on 29.04.2021, on suspicion of possessing contraband item(cannabis). Moreover, the quantity of the alleged contraband confiscated was 421 kgs of cannabis which was a narcotic substance that would also attract the provision of section 21(c) NDPS Act. 

Considering all the submissions and facts, The Hon’ble High Court Meghalaya ruled out that “… In this instant case, the public prosecutor has been duly heard and as pointed out above, this Court finds that there are no reasonable grounds for believing that the accused persons are not guilty of such offence… this Court is constraint to disallow the prayer of the Petitioner for grant of bail on behalf of the accused person above named and is of the opinion that at this juncture, bail cannot be granted. Accordingly, this application is hereby dismissed as devoid of merit.” 

Click here to read the Judgment 

Judgment reviewed by Bipasha Kundu

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