10 Jun 2022 8:22 AM GMT
The Gujarat High Court has granted bail to an accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, while observing that rigours of bail under Section 37 of the Act does not apply in case of non-commercial quantity and hence, regular bail can be allowed.Section 37 of the NDPS Act stipulates that persons accused of offences under the Act involving commercial quantity, shall...
The Gujarat High Court has granted bail to an accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, while observing that rigours of bail under Section 37 of the Act does not apply in case of non-commercial quantity and hence, regular bail can be allowed.
Section 37 of the NDPS Act stipulates that persons accused of offences under the Act involving commercial quantity, shall not be released on bail unless the Court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that accused is not guilty and is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. However, for non-commercial quantity, there is no such bar for grant of bail under the provision.
Commercial Quantity in relation to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is defined under Section 2(viia) of the Act. It means any quantity greater than the quantity specified by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette. Presently, commercial quantity of Ganja is 20 Kgs or more.
Justice Ilesh Vora observed,
"Having carefully considered the contents of the FIR and material placed on record, it appears that embargo of Section 37 of the NDPS Act is not applicable to the facts of present case as seized contraband Ganja is found to be small quantity."
The accused was booked for alleged commission of offences under Sections 8(c), 20(b) and 29 of the NDPS Act.
The APP opposed the grant of bail considering the nature and gravity of the offence. Per contra, the Applicant-accused contested that bail ought to be granted considering the quantity of the prohibited goods.
Justice Vora observed that the embargo of Section 37 of the NDPS Act was not applicable to the facts of the case as the contraband Ganja was in small quantity. Further, the Applicant-accused also lacked past antecedents and showed no indication of absconding or fleeing from justice. The High Court directed thus:
"In the facts and circumstances of the case and considering the nature of allegations made against the applicant in the FIR, prima facie, this Court is of the opinion that this is a fit case to exercise the discretion and enlarge the applicant on regular bail."
It was further ordered that a personal bond of INR 10,000 be executed with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the Trial Court.
Case No.: R/CR.MA/8904/2022
Case Title: Mahendrabhai Manglabhai Bodat vs State Of Gujarat
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 201
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