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Successive Govts Dragging Their Feet On Setting Up Of Special Courts Under NDPS Act, Resulting In Delayed Disposal: Jammu & Kashmir High Court

Shrutika Pandey
9 July 2021 12:32 PM GMT
Successive Govts Dragging Their Feet On Setting Up Of Special Courts Under NDPS Act, Resulting In Delayed Disposal: Jammu & Kashmir High Court
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Take immediate steps to set up Special NDPS Courts in the Union Territory, the High Court ordered.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court recently expressed anguish and dismal over non-establishment of Special Courts in terms of Section 36 of the NDPS Act in the Union Territory."This state of affairs is continuing despite the lapse of more than three decades from the date of enactment of NDPS Act. There is high pendency of cases relating to offences under NDPS Act in the Union Territory and...

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court recently expressed anguish and dismal over non-establishment of Special Courts in terms of Section 36 of the NDPS Act in the Union Territory.

"This state of affairs is continuing despite the lapse of more than three decades from the date of enactment of NDPS Act. There is high pendency of cases relating to offences under NDPS Act in the Union Territory and in the absence of Special Courts, these cases are being tried by ordinary Sessions Courts thereby resulting in delay in disposal of these cases. Thus, the very object of the Act is getting defeated", Justice Sanjay Dhar noted.

The Judge noted that even the Supreme Court's directive in Thana Singh v. Central Bureau of Narcotics for establishment of Special Court seem to have fallen on "deaf ears" of the authorities and the same have been unable to wake up the authorities from the "deep slumber".

In Thana Singh (supra), the Top Court had issued directions to a few States including the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir to set up Special Courts, in view of the high pendency recorded over five years. The number of these courts must be proportionate to, and sufficient for, handling the volume of pending cases in the State, the Supreme Court had ordered.

In its order, the High Court has noted that successive governments of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have "dragged their feet" on constitution and setting up of Special Courts under NDPS Act and as a consequence, Court of Sessions is discharging this additional function.

In view thereof, the High Court observed,

"It is high time that the concerned authorities of the Government of Union Territory of J&K, take immediate steps to set up Special Courts in the Union Territory in consultation with the High Court so that object of speedy disposal of cases relating to offences under NDPS Act is fulfilled and the directions of the Supreme Court are complied with in the right earnest."

It is directed that the matter be brought to the attention of Chief Secretary of the Government of Union Territory of J&K, and the Registrar General of the High Court of J&K, for taking immediate necessary steps.

The development comes in a criminal application moved by one Arshad Allaie, represented by Senior Advocate Pranav Kohli and Advocate Farhan Mirza, booked for commission of offences under provisions of NDPS Act and UAPA. He was resisting extension of remand by Sessions Court under NDPS Act, saying once the period of 180 days of custody under UAPA had expired, he was entitled to be enlarged on default bail.

The High Court ruled that where an accused is facing investigation for offences under UAPA together with offences under NDPS Act, concerned Sessions Judge under Section 36 of NDPS Act is vested with jurisdiction to extend the custody of such an accused beyond the period of 180 days subject to fulfillment of the conditions mentioned in proviso to sub-section (4) of Section 36A of NDPS Act.

Respondent-State was represented by AAG Aseem Sawhney. 

Case Title: Arshad Ahmad Allaie v. UT of J&K Anr

Click here to download order 

Read Order



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