16 Dec 2022 8:00 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has made it clear that only when cannabis seeds and leaves are not accompanied by fruiting and flowering tops that they can be excluded from the definition of 'ganja' under Section 2(iii)(b) of the NDPS Act.The provision states- cannabis means ganja, that is, the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (excluding the seeds and leaves when not accompanied by...
The Karnataka High Court has made it clear that only when cannabis seeds and leaves are not accompanied by fruiting and flowering tops that they can be excluded from the definition of 'ganja' under Section 2(iii)(b) of the NDPS Act.
The provision states- cannabis means ganja, that is, the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (excluding the seeds and leaves when not accompanied by the tops).
In this light single judge bench of Justice K.Natarajan observed,
"Only the leaves and seeds not accompanied, then it cannot be considered as ganja. In order to exclude the definition of ganja, the seeds and leaves shall not accompany the tops and fruits."
It refused to quash the criminal proceedings initiated against a 73-yr-old under Sections 20(a)(i), 20(b)(ii)(A) of NDPS Act, allegedly found in possession of 750 grams of Ganja. Court said,
"In the complaint especially seizure panchanama, which reveals that the bag in possession of the petitioner looked like a leaf, but it contained the flower, fruiting top, leaves and seeds. Considering the same, it not only contains the seeds and leaves, but also accompanying the flowering and fruiting tops. Therefore, the material seized is containing flowering and fruiting tops accompanying the seeds and leaves which amounts to Ganja i.e., the leave and seed accompanied with flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant. It falls under ganja."
The main contention of the petitioner was that the seized material is not ganja, which has only leaves and seeds totally 750 grams.
The prosecution opposed the plea saying that ganja contains leaves, fruiting tops, seeds, stems and it cannot be bifurcated at the time of seizure. It was contended that even if the leaves are removed, the quantity of Ganja will come down and therefore, that itself is not a ground to quash the criminal proceedings.
The bench said, "The opinion of FSL indicates the positive of ganja. The trial Court has also examined three witnesses. Considering the facts, the contention of the petitioner that the seized quantity of ganja will not fall under the definition of ganja under Section 2(iii) (b) of the NDPS Act, cannot be acceptable."
It also held that for determining the weight of ganja, to bring under the small or medium or commercial quantity, it cannot be bifurcated by removing seeds and leaves and it cannot be a ground for quashing the criminal proceedings.
Further it added,
"Even for the purpose of considering the bail application, if the commercial quantity of ganja is seized, the accused cannot plead to bring under the medium quantity claiming that it is not a commercial quantity by excluding the seeds and leaves."
Case Title: Rangappa v. State By Basavapatna P S
Case no: CRIMINAL PETITION NO.11678 OF 2022
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 516
Date of Order: 07-12-2022
Appearance: Gopalakrishnamurthy, Advocate for petitioner.
B J Rohit HCGP for respondent.
Click Here To Read/Download Order