Advertisment

Courts should be slow in granting bail in case of recovery of huge quantity of narcotic: SC

author-image
NewsDrum Desk
New Update

New Delhi, Feb 19 (PTI) The Supreme Court has said courts should be slow in granting even regular bail to an accused in a case in which a huge quantity of narcotics has been seized, more so when the accused allegedly has criminal antecedents.

Advertisment

The apex court quashed an order of the Madras High Court that granted anticipatory bail to an accused in a case relating to the alleged seizure of 232.5 kg of "ganja", terming it "cryptic and perverse".

A bench of justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta noted that the high court had failed to consider that the accused had criminal antecedents and was already arraigned in two cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

"In case of recovery of such a huge quantity of a narcotic substance, the courts should be slow in granting even regular bail to the accused, what to talk of anticipatory bail, more so when the accused is alleged to be having criminal antecedents," the bench said in its order passed on February 12.

Advertisment

The court was hearing an appeal filed by the state of Tamil Nadu against the January 2022 order of the high court that had granted anticipatory bail to the accused in a case lodged under the NDPS Act.

It noted that according to the records, on a search of the house of two people, they were found to be in possession of 232.5 kg of "ganja" and it was indicated that the accused was the conspirator behind the procurement or supply of the narcotic substance.

It also noted that the public prosecutor had opposed the prayer for the grant of anticipatory bail to the accused in the high court.

Advertisment

The bench said it was apparent that the high court ignored the prosecutor's submission that the accused was arraigned in three more previous cases, two of which involved offences under the NDPS Act.

It referred to section 37 of the Act, which deals with bail to an accused charged in connection with an offence involving a commercial quantity of a narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.

"A plain reading of the statutory provision makes it abundantly clear that in the event the public prosecutor opposes the prayer for bail, either regular or anticipatory, as the case may be, the court would have to record a satisfaction that there are grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of the offence alleged and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail," the bench said.

Advertisment

It noted that the high court not only omitted to record any such satisfaction, but rather ignored the factum of seizure of a narcotic substance, the quantity of which was multiple times the commercial quantity.

"As a consequence, the impugned order is cryptic and perverse on the face of the record and cannot be sustained. Thus, the same is quashed and set aside," the bench said while allowing the appeal filed by the state.

It directed accused B Ramu to surrender before the trial court within 10 days. PTI ABA RC

Advertisment
Subscribe