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The quantity of contraband recovered from the two accused can be combined for applicability of Section 29 of the NDPS Act: High Court of Delhi

Conspiracy is always hatched in secrecy and it is difficult to obtain direct evidence to establish the same and the acts of various parties to the conspiracy will infer that they were done with reference to common intention and it will only be proved by indirect circumstantial evidence of an impeccable nature and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by JUSTICE TALWANT SINGH in the case of RIDHM RANA vs. STATE (NCT OF DELHI) [CRL.REV.P. 385/2021] on 16.03.2022.

The facts of the case are that a secret information was received that one Shanta Kumar was engaged in supply of Charas through his trustworthy driver and he would be sending one consignment of Charas through him to Delhi to the petitioner to be delivered near Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj. On the basis of this secret information, when the raiding party reached at the spot, they found two vehicles parked and three persons were talking to each other, later on identified as Rakesh, Ridhm and Sarvesh.

Driver Rakesh took out two polythene bags, one of black colour and the other one of white colour from the cabin of the truck and handed over the black polythene bag to the present petitioner and the white polythene bag to Sarvesh. After checking the substance, both of them paid Rs.10,000 each to Rakesh for the said contraband. They were apprehended red handed. On weighing, 750 grams of Charas was found in the polythene bag of the petitioner and the weight of the Charas was 456 grams in the polythene bag recovered from co-accused Sarvesh.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the alleged recovery from the petitioner is of 750 grams of Charas but the revisionist has been ordered to be charged for total recovery of 1.206 Kgs of Charas, the revisionist is not shown to have any knowledge regarding the quantity of contraband alleged to have been recovered from Sarvesh and at what price. So, the mischief of Section 29 of NDPS Act is not at all attracted and the order of charge deserves to be set aside. It was further submitted that there is nothing on record to show that he had entered into criminal conspiracy with any of his co-accused or with any other person regarding offence of illegal possession of contraband.

The respondent’s counsel submitted that the accused persons were found in conscious possession of total 1206 grams of Charas and hence charges under Section 20(c) r/w Section 29 of NDPS Act were rightly framed against the accused, as the said total quantity qualifies as Commercial Quantity.

The Court held that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support the submissions of the prosecution that there was criminal conspiracy amongst all the accused persons and as a result Section 29 and Section 20 (c) of the NDPS Act. The Court observed that “conspiracy is always hatched in secrecy and it is difficult to obtain direct evidence to establish the same and the acts of various parties to the conspiracy will infer that they were done with reference to common intention and it will only be proved by indirect circumstantial evidence of an impeccable nature.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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