‘Under such circumstances and in view of the statutory restrictions under Section 37 of the NDPS Act, we are not inclined to grant bail to the petitioners.’ : Calcutta HC
The division bench consisting of Justice Ajay Kumar Gupta and Justice Joymalya Bagchi of the Calcutta High Court in the case of Maharaj Singh & Anr. v. Customs ruled on Monday that once a charge sheet is submitted in an NDPS case, the order prolonging the accused’s imprisonment beyond 180 days is null and void. The court stated that a plaintiff cannot challenge the abovementioned order of extension of detention when it is no longer in effect.
Facts of the Case:
The petitioners were detained while allegedly smuggling drugs on a truck, namely 14970 bottles of phenyl syrup containing codeine phosphate in 42 HDPE bags and 25 cartons. The petitioners applied to the High Court for statutory bail on the grounds that the report seeking an extension of detention under Section 36A(4) of the NDPS Act was not in conformity with the law.
“The manner and circumstances in which the drugs were transported prima facie show an organized crime racket was involved in interstate transportation of drugs. Upon their arrest petitioners were interrogated and the role of co-accused. The said co-accused was arrested. On the 179th day of their detention, a report of the Investigating Officer seeking an extension of detention in terms of proviso to Section 36A(4) of the NDPS Act was served upon them. On the next day, the application was filed and came to be allowed by order dated 08.07.2022,” said the court.
The court also highlighted that the report seeking extension clearly stated the petitioners’ involvement and the need to prolong the duration of detention beyond 180 days. It was also noted in the report that the petitioners are from different states and that there is a chance of them fleeing and tampering with evidence.
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JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY DIVYA SHREE GN