Himachal Pradesh High Court Grants Bail to a Repeat Offender Under NDPS Act

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In the present case, the petitioner was allegedly involved in the illegal possession of narcotics. As a result, an FIR was filed by the Police. The petitioner was then arrested under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act. He was also charged under the Motor Vehicle Act. Subsequently, the petitioner prayed for regular bail. After assessing the circumstances, the court granted the bail.

Brief facts of the Case

On 2 June 2020, the police launched an FIR against the petitioner. The police booked the petitioner under section 21 of the Narcotic, Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act. The charges filed were due to his alleged possession of an intermediate quantity of intoxicating capsules. The petitioner was also booked under Section 181 of the Motor Vehicles Act. 

As per the status report filed, the police caught Yusuf, whilst he was carrying capsules along with him. Further, the procedure of arrest complied with sec 42(2) of the NDPS Act.  The police received information from reliable sources. They moved to nab the accused before he fled.

Further, after catching Yusuf, the police searched his person and his two-wheeler. The police found that the petitioner was carrying the 191.520 gms. of capsules having 50gm of Tramadol per capsules. The capsules contained neutral powder amounting to 161.280 gms of total powder.

The petitioner did not submit any license for possessing and carrying the same. Thus, the police arrested him,  and he has been in custody. Subsequently, he prayed for regular bail under section 439 of CrPC. According to the status report, the petitioner has a similar criminal history. In 2015, the police caught him with 650 gms of Poppy Straw and 28 gms of Cannabis. The Court has not given any judgement on the case yet. Further, the Court rejected a bail petition for this case at a prior time. This was done, considering the gravity, severity and circumstances of the case and records. 

Petitioner’s Argument

The petitioner stated that he has been falsely accused. He further stated that the investigation of the case is complete and he has been in custody for a long time. With regards to his prior criminal record, he expressed that the quantity found was ”small”. He also assured the Court that he will not influence the investigation in any manner if he is granted bail.

Respondent’s Argument

The respondent heavily mentioned the petitioner’s previous criminal history. He regarded the offences committed as having harmful effects on society. He further argued that if bail is granted, the petitioner will tamper the investigation. 

Observations of the Court

The Court referred to a precedent given by the Supreme Court which deliberated on a similar dispute of determining the quantity of the intoxicants to charge the petitioner with relevant sections of NDPS Act. 

The Court quoted the case of Hira Singh Vs. Union of India. It held that in a mixture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substance, the neutral substance should also be included while measuring the total weight for considering it under a specific quantity under the act. The accused must be charged accordingly. 

Following the aforesaid observation, the Court held the quantity of the capsules to be of intermediate quantity. Thus, no rigorous section or Section 37 of the Act will apply in this case. The Court further observed that the case is fit for bail. It regarded the petitioner’s custody as not beneficial. The Court also observed that the petitioner has been fined with a challan. He is not in a situation to flee from justice or influence the trial. If the petitioner tries to cross any of the conditions, the Court will cancel his bail. 

Court’s Judgment

Based on the aforesaid observations, the Court passed an order, granting bail. The petitioner has to adhere to the conditions when out in bail. First, the petitioner has to cooperate with the investigation as and when required. Second, the petitioner shall not hinder evidence or hamper the investigation. Third, he cannot leave the country. Lastly, the Court has to be kept updated about his whereabouts.


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