Libertatem Magazine

Himachal Pradesh High Court Tries Co-Accused in NDPS Case Differently Than Accused, Being a Mere Ambulance Driver

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In the present petition the petitioner was arrested in case FIR No. 118/2020, dated 26.08.2020, registered in Police Station Baijnath, under Sections 20/29 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (herein NDPS).


The petitioner along with co-accused Ram Lal was apprehended under suspicion and 1.1 kg charas was recovered from the carry bag in possession of Ram Lal. On 26.08.2020 it was stated that the petitioner and co-accused were coming on Kiori-Sansal road and that they had started running back after noticing a police party on the road and while they were trying to flee from the spot Ram Lal; had thrown a carry bag on the side of the road in the grass, whereupon the Police party had chased and overpowered both accused. They called an independent witness and associating a police officer as a witness along with him, search and seizure of a bag thrown by Ram Lal was carried out where from charas, referred supra, was recovered.

Contentions before the Court

The learned counsel submitted that the only allegation against the petitioner was that he was accompanying the main accused Ram Lal and there was no other allegation against him. He further submitted that the petitioner was an ambulance driver and had nothing to do with the charas alleged to have been recovered by the Police. It is argued on behalf of the petitioner that no cogent and reliable evidence was found. There lies no prima facie link the accused with the recovered contraband and in case the entire story of prosecution was considered to be true, even then nothing was recovered from the petitioner. And even after that, he was roped under Section 29 of the NDPS Act improperly and falsely. It was further submitted that the petitioner had no criminal history of commission of the same or similar nature of the offence.

Court’s Observation

The Court considered the facts and circumstances narrated in the prosecution story, including the quantum of contraband recovered from the bag allegedly being carried by co-accused and the period of detention. The Court believed that the petitioner would be considered differently than the main accused Ram Lal.

Court’s Judgment

The Hon’ble Court of Himachal Pradesh held in the instant case that the petitioner had to pay Rs. 50,000/- with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial Court/Special Judge. Further, the Court ordered that it would be open to the prosecution to apply for imposing and/or to the trial Court to impose any other condition on the petitioner as deemed necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case and the interest of justice and thereupon, and would also be open to the trial Court to impose any other or further condition on the petitioner as it may deem necessary in the interest of justice.

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