The Bombay High Court at Goa grants bail to an accused charged under the NDPS Act, on the grounds of prolonged incarceration and blatant violation of his Article 21 right.
Title: Raju Lama v. State
Decided on: July 17, 2023
Citation: 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 1424
CORAM: HON’BLE JUSTICE M.S. KARNIK
The Bombay High Court at Goa grants bail to an accused charged under the NDPS Act, found in possession of drugs, owing to prolonged incarceration and violation of his Article 21 right.
Facts of the Case
This case is an application for bail for the offences punishable under section 20(b)(ii)(C) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act). The applicant was arrested on 29.11.2020. At the time of arrest, it is alleged that the raiding party seized 2.5 kgs of charas which was in the dikky of a scooter parked by the applicant. The applicant is in custody for more than two years and nine months. The prosecution has cited sixteen witnesses and proposes to examine nine more witnesses. The applicant is requesting for a bail from Court.
Court Analysis and Judgement:
The counsel for the applicant submitted that the last date when the third witness was examined was on 23.03.2023 and since then there is no progress in the trial. The trial is likely to take some time to conclude. Supreme Court case Rabi Prakash v. State Of Odisha was cited to contend that the prolonged incarceration, generally militates against the most precious fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution and in such a situation, the conditional liberty must override the statutory embargo created under Section 37(i)(b)(ii) of the NDPS Act. The Court held that the applicant is entitled for bail on the ground of prolonged incarceration and because there are no criminal antecedents reported against the applicant. Also, the Court held that the likelihood of the applicant committing an offence of a similar nature is highly improbable. The Court therefore granted the applicant bail as he is a resident of Himachal Pradesh. He was released on bail upon furnishing a bond worth rupee 1,00,000.
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Written by- Reema Nayak