8 July 2022 5:13 AM GMT
The Gujarat High Court has refused regular bail under Section 439 of CrPC to a 66 years old man, from whose property contraband (Poppy Straw) worth Rs. 16.6 lakh was seized. Justice SH Vora observed that though the senior citizen was not at the scene of offence or in the nearby vicinity, however, since he was the property owner, Section 25 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances...
The Gujarat High Court has refused regular bail under Section 439 of CrPC to a 66 years old man, from whose property contraband (Poppy Straw) worth Rs. 16.6 lakh was seized.
Justice SH Vora observed that though the senior citizen was not at the scene of offence or in the nearby vicinity, however, since he was the property owner, Section 25 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 is attracted to the case.
Section 25 provides punishment for allowing premises, etc., to be used for commission of an offence. The Court also considered Section 37 of the Act which stipulates rigours on bail where recovered contraband is of commercial quantity. 69 bags of Poppy Straw weighing 1371.72 kg were seized from the applicant's property.
The FIR connected with the instant application was registered for offences under Sec 15, 25 and 29 of the NDPS Act. The FIR was registered in 2020 when the police received information that several persons were transferring liquor from one truck to another in an abandoned petrol pump of Essar Company. The police found a few vehicles including a truck and several persons transferring goods. It was later revealed that the goods being transferred were not liquor but poppy straw.
The Applicant submitted that he had not been named in the FIR and he was also not found in the vicinity of the scene of offence. He was not in possession of the contraband substance and had also not instigated or engaged himself in such activities intentionally or by illegal omission. Further, his co-accused was enlarged on bail and considering that he was aged 66 years, he deserved bail as per the law laid down in Sanjay Chandra vs CBI.
Per contra, the APP opposed the bail application on the ground that the Applicant and the other accused were his relatives, and they were in constant touch with each other. The Applicant, one of the owners of the land, had allowed the premises of the property to be used for the commission of offence. Thus, Sec 25 and 37 of the Act were applicable.
Relying on Sec 25 of the NDPS Act which referred to the allowing of premises to be used for commission of offences, Justice Vora stated:
"It is relevant to note here that petrol pump dealership agreement was already expired and huge cultivation of poppy straw was going on the land owned by the applicant and it was used for commission of offence under NDPS Act. Having regard to contraband substance seized as aforesaid and provisions contained in section 25 of the NDPS Act, it is not a fit case to enlarge the applicant on bail either on account of his age or grant of bail in favour of aforesaid two co-accused."
Case Title: NARUGHAR SONGHAR GOSWAMI v/s STATE OF GUJARAT
Case No.: R/CR.MA/19926/2021
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 260
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