21 July 2022 11:41 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court while rejecting a bail application by an accused charged under provisions of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act (NDPS) has reiterated that merely because the chemical analysis report of the contraband seized is not received within 15 days, it is not a ground to release the accused on bail. A single judge bench of Justice Mohammad...
The Karnataka High Court while rejecting a bail application by an accused charged under provisions of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act (NDPS) has reiterated that merely because the chemical analysis report of the contraband seized is not received within 15 days, it is not a ground to release the accused on bail.
A single judge bench of Justice Mohammad Nawaz while rejecting the bail petition filed by one Zakir Hussain said ,"Merely because the report is not received within 15 days is not a ground to release the accused on bail. There is no inordinate delay in receiving the FSL Report."
The accused has been arrested for offences punishable under Sections 8(c) read with Section 20(b)(ii)(C), 23, 27(A), 28 and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
In the successive petition filed it was contended that now the investigation is over and the entire material is available on record including the FSL Report and therefore, the petitioner seeks bail.
It was submitted that the alleged ganja was concealed underneath the coconut bags and therefore it cannot be said that the petitioner was in conscious possession of contraband. It was further submitted that the petitioner is only the owner-cum-driver of the truck which was transporting the load of coconuts and he was not aware that there was ganja in the truck. It was further contended that there has been non-compliance with Section 42 of the NDPS Act, as the secret information said to be received by the complainant was not reduced into writing and reported to his superior officer.
Further, it was submitted that the search and seizure has been carried out during night hours on a private vehicle, which is in violation of the mandatory provisions of Sections 42 and 43 of the NDPS Act. The samples were drawn on 12.04.2021 and the FSL report was received on 11.06.2021, which is not within 15 days and it is in violation of Standing Instructions 1/88.
NCB opposed the plea contending that the High Court has already rejected the prayer of the petitioner and there are no changed circumstances to once again consider his bail petition.
On going through the material on record, the Court found that there is no violation of the mandatory provisions with regard to search and seizure of ganja, the quantitative analysis, taking samples and sending the contraband for chemical examination.
Rejecting the contention of the petitioner that the chemical analysis report has not been received within 15 days, the bench referred to Supreme Court judgement in the case of Union of India vs. Bal Mukund and others reported in (2009)12 SCC 161 wherein it was held that infraction of Standing Instruction No.1/88 is not a ground for releasing the accused on bail.
Further the bench rejected the contention of the petitioner that the alleged bag containing ganja was hidden underneath the coconut bags and the petitioner being the driver of the truck it cannot be said that he was in conscious possession of ganja.
Referring to section 35 of the NDPS Act the bench noted that the petitioner is admittedly the owner-cum-driver of the truck. It said, "In the case on hand, at this stage, this Court finds that the petitioner had real knowledge of the nature of the substance concealed in the jute gunny bags."
It held, "Further, the accused has been found transporting ganja in his vehicle and at this stage, the material collected is sufficient to show that he had real knowledge of the nature of the substance concealed in the jute gunny bags beneath the load of coconuts. Hence, taking into consideration all the above, this Court is of the considered view that, a prima facie case is made out against the petitioner and it cannot be said at this stage that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the petitioner is not guilty of the offence alleged against him."
Case Title: ZAKIR HUSSAIN v STATE BY INTELLIGENCE OFFICER.
Case No: CRIMINAL PETITION NO.2612 OF 2022
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 279
Date Of order: 15TH DAY OF JULY, 2022
Appearance: Senior Advocate DHANANJAY JOSHI, for Advocate RUDRABHUSHAN C.B for petitioner; SENIOR C.G.S.C MADHUKAR M. DESHPANDE for respondent.
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