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Liberal approach in the matter of bail under the NDPS Act is uncalled for: High Court of Delhi

The purpose of enacting the NDPS Act was to curb the menace, and this purpose must be borne in mind while considering the grant of bail pertaining to the NDPS Act. For granting the bail the Court must be satisfied that that the accused is not guilty of the offences with which he is charged and further that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. Liberal approach in the matter of bail under the Act is uncalled for and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by Justice Subramonium Prasad in the case of PRIYARANJAN SHARMA vs. STATE OF NCT OF DELHI [BAIL APPLN. 3424/2021] on 08.02.2022.

The facts of the case are that information was received that a large quantity of Charas from Malana and that the substance would be handed over to Ranjan at the Bus Stop at Vande MataramMarg, New Delhi. The said information was recorded in writing and was produced before Inspector. In turn, a raid was conducted. In the possession of the co-accused, a black bag was recovered wherein two bundles of a sticky and smelly black substance was found wrapped in plastic. It is stated that after testing, it was confirmed that the substance was Charas.

After collecting sufficient material and based on the inquiries, the petitioner and co-accused were formally arrested and a report under Section 57 of the NDPS Act was made. The present petition is filed seeking regular bail for offences under the NDPS Act.

The petitioner’s counsel contended that there was no recovery of the contraband from the petitioner. It was further contended that there was non-compliance of Section 42 and Section 50 of the NDPS Act and the search and seizure was not conducted in front of the Gazetted Officer.

The respondent’s counsel stated that the information was received from co-accused that accused would be bringing contraband from Himachal Pradesh, therefore, a raiding party was constituted after taking authorisation of the higher officials and in compliance of Section 42 of the NDPS Act. It was further contended that a bail should not be granted as the substance was confirmed as Charas by the Forensic Science Laboratory and the investigation is going on but accused is absconding.

According to facts and circumstances, the Court dismissed the petition as the petitioner was not able to satisfy that he is not guilty of offence and the fact that he was a member of the cartel gives a strong apprehension that he is likely to commit such an offence in the future as well.

The Court observed that “the purpose of enacting the NDPS Act was to curb this menace, and this purpose must be borne in mind while considering the grant of bail pertaining to the NDPS Act. For granting the bail the Court must be satisfied that the accused is not guilty of the offences with which he is charged and further that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. Clause (b) (1) of Section 37 are in addition to the limitations provided under the Code of Criminal Procedure or any other law for the time being in force regulating the grant of bail. Liberal approach in the matter of bail under the Act is uncalled for.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

 

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