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'Drug Menace Affecting Entire Society': Karnataka High Court Denies Bail To Medical Shop Owner In NDPS Case

Mustafa Plumber
16 Nov 2022 10:51 AM GMT
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The Karnataka High Court has rejected the bail petition filed by one Thaha Ummer, a resident of Kerala, who was arrested on August 25 for allegedly exporting banned Clonazepam Tablets.

Ummer has been booked under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) by the Narcotic Control Bureau.

A single judge bench of Justice Rajendra Badamikar while rejecting the bail petition said:

"The drug menace is affecting the entire society and especially it is targeting the younger generation and it affects the economy of the country and illicit money is being used for drug trafficking and illegal money is being generated to promote the same. This is a serious aspect and it cannot be taken in a light way."

As per the prosecution, reliable information was received on May 07 regarding a suspicious parcel at DHL Express (India)'s Express Cargo Terminal at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru and it was suspected to be containing Clonazepam Tablets, which is covered under NDPS Act.

The NCB found that the parcel was found to be booked by another Kerala resident Ajmal Nanath Valiyatt and was addressed to one Zainul Abid Mannan Paramban, Al Maddena Sweets, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Subsequently, 357 grams of Clonazepam Tablets was allegedly seized from the parcel.

The counsel representing the accused Ummer argued that he is innocent and denied the allegation that he was an exporter of drugs. The court was told he works as a medical items supplier. NCB submitted that he is the owner as well as the manufacturer of the said Clonazepam Tablets. The booking of the parcel was made by him using the Aadhaar card of another accused, the court was told.

Findings:

The bench noted that Clonazepam is a banned Narcotic Drug under NDPS Act, 1985.

Referring to to the bail application filed by co-accused Ajmal before the special court, the court said he had mentioned that Ummer being the owner of the Medical Shop and being his employer had misused his Aadhar Card for dispatching the banned drugs Clonazepam Tablets to the foreign countries through Airways.

Ajmal in the petition had also allegedly said that Ummer had created fake prescriptions of doctors by using fake patients' names.

The court said:

"These allegations made by the co-accused, who is the employee of the present petitioner, clearly disclose that the petitioner was trying to conceal his identity by booking parcels in the name of his employee and also used fake medical prescriptions and fake patients' names. These are very serious aspects and the seized quantity of banned drugs is more than a commercial quantity."

Refusing to accept the contention of the petitioner about violation of Standing Order and the sample being taken less than the minimum quantity prescribed, the bench said:

"No doubt, the minimum quantity for sample testing ought to have been drawn to the extent of 05 grams, but at the same time, the Chemical Examiner never rejected the sample on the ground that it is less than the prescribed quantity and it is not possible to analyse the same."

Noting that mandate of Section 37 of NDPS discloses that the offences are cognizable and non-bailable, and negative burden is casted on the present petitioner to disprove the case of prosecution, the court said:

"Except formal denial, no material evidence is placed and though there is certain irregularity in non-compliance of Standing Order, at this juncture that cannot be a ground for admitting the petitioner/Accused No.1 on bail, in view of mandate of Section 37 of the NDPS Act."

It added: "Under Section 35 of the NDPS Act, there is presumption of culpable mental state of mind and no explanation is forthcoming from the petitioner in this regard."

The court further said:

"The drug abuse is a menace and prima facie there is material evidence to show that the parcel was booked by the present petitioner/Accused No.1 and it contains Clonazepam Tablets, which is more than commercial quantity. The allegations and assertion of Accused No.2 in his petition filed before the learned Sessions/Special Judge would clearly disclose that the petitioner/Accused No.1 was using fake prescriptions and fake orders and transporting drugs and these aspects cannot be ignored."

Dismissing the petition, the court said there is no material evidence to establish innocence of the accused.

Case Title: THAHA UMMER v. UNION OF INDIA

Case NO: CRIMINAL PETITION No.9450/2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 463

Date of Order: 9TH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2022

Appearance: VIVEK .S. REDDY, SENIOR COUNSEL FOR SHAIK ISMAIL ZABIULLA, ADVOCATE for petitioner.

BALAKRISHNA. M.R., CGSC for respondent.

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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