Use of drones for cross border narco-terrorism, denial of anticipatory bail: Punjab High Court.
The Punjab High Court, on 21st December, 2022, in Gurmeet Singh v/s State of Punjab (CRM-M-39066-2022 (O & M), held that allegations of narco-terrorism with the use of drones was a serious allegation and denied bail to the petitioner. The judgement was presided by Honourable Mr. Justice Jasjit Singh Bedi.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
Under Section 438 CrPC, the petitioner sought for an anticipatory bail. An FIR was registered against the petitioner under Sections 21, 23 and 29 of the NDPS Act. The allegations against the petitioner were that he was in close contacts with Pakistani based smugglers and supplied drugs in versions parts of Punjab. Subsequent raids were conducted by the police on the information received by the investing agency, but the raids were unsuccessful. However, on 25th December, 2022, at about 11pm, a drone was spotted and fired at. The drone dropped two packets of heroin and traced its path back. The petitioner sought an anticipatory bail which was dismissed by the Additional Sessions Judge.
After the FIR, and for the purpose of investigation, the petitioner was asked to hand his phone and SIM card which he refuted on grounds of being destroyed by his mother. The learned counsel for the state held that the petitioner was misleading the investigation agency. It was alleged that the petitioner used the same phone to contact with the Pakistani based smugglers.
The Court held that the allegations against the petitioner were quite serious in nature. The petitioner was alleged to have been in contact with Pakistani based smugglers and the night the drone was shot at was connected to the petitioner. It was held that the petitioner is withholding vital information and is misleading the agency by his statement of his phone and SIM card being destroyed by his mother.
The court upheld the seriousness of the crime and observed that there was an increase in the use of drones to transport drugs and weapons and an increase in cross-border narco-terrorism. Thereby, the Court denied the anticipatory bail on grounds of custodial interrogation of the petitioner.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY ARYA THAKUR.