The Supreme Court on Tuesday restored a trial court order that acquitted an accused in an NDPS case, on the ground that the oral evidence adduced that the contraband was produced before the magistrate cannot form the basis to record the conviction, in the absence of the order of the magistrate to that effect.
The bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice R Banumathi and Justice Navin Sinha set aside a high court order that had reversed the acquittal recorded by the trial court, by relying on the oral evidence of production of contraband before the magistrate. The high court had sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment.
On an appeal filed by the accused, the apex court bench observed that the findings of the trial court cannot be said to be ‘distorted conclusions’ warranting interference.
When the trial court which is in possession of the case records recorded a finding that there is no order of the Magistrate showing the production of the contraband before the court and acquitted the accused on that basis, in our view, the High Court ought not to have interfered with the said order of acquittal, the apex court bench observed allowing the appeal filed by the accused.
The bench observed that in Vijay Jain v. State of Madhya Pradesh, it was held that mere oral evidence to establish seizure of contraband substances from the accused is not sufficient.