12 Dec 2022 11:00 AM GMT
The Madhya Pradesh High Court, Gwalior Bench recently directed the Inspector General, Chambal Range to initiate enquiry against the seizure officer in a NDPS case for not following the mandatory provisions under the NDPS Act regarding seizure of the contraband. While granting bail to the accused, the bench comprising Justice Deepak Kumar Agarwal deprecated the lapses on the part...
The Madhya Pradesh High Court, Gwalior Bench recently directed the Inspector General, Chambal Range to initiate enquiry against the seizure officer in a NDPS case for not following the mandatory provisions under the NDPS Act regarding seizure of the contraband.
While granting bail to the accused, the bench comprising Justice Deepak Kumar Agarwal deprecated the lapses on the part of the seizure officer-
Before parting with the case, this Court depreciated the investigation done by Seizing Officer without following the aforesaid mandatory provisions of the Act. Due to lapse in the procedure for taking the sample of seized cannabis on the part of Seizing Officer Aarti Charate on which allegation against accused persons of possessing commercial quantity of contraband have been seized, the Inspector General of Chambal Range is directed to make an enquiry and submit the report regarding non-fulfillment of mandatory provisions of the Act while taking sample of contraband by the aforesaid Seizing Officer, within a period of two months from the date of receipt of certified copy of this order before the Principal Registrar of this Court.
Facts of the case were that the Applicant was accused of offences punishable under Sections 8, 20 of the NDPS Act. As per the prosecution story, the Applicant was transporting cannabis which was intercepted by the Police. The contraband was found to be in 50 different packets which were opened, mixed and then sealed into two different bags by the police. The FIR was registered against the Applicant and the co-accused and the samples were sent to chemical examination. Upon examination, the contraband was found to be cannabis and accordingly, the chargesheet against the Applicant was filed.
Arguing his bail application before the Court, the Applicant submitted that the police had not followed the mandatory provisions laid down under the NDPS Act. They ought not to have mixed the contraband together and instead, should've taken samples separately from all the 50 packets. It was asserted that since all the contraband was mixed together, it could not be assumed that all the 50 packets contained cannabis.
Examining the submissions of parties and documents on record, the Court concurred with the submissions put forth by the Applicant. Placing reliance on the decision of the Apex Court in Netram v. State of Rajasthan, the Court noted that if samples from each bag are not collected and tested separately, the same would not be in conformity with the Standing Instruction No.1/88 issued by the Narcotics Control Bureau, New Delhi, particularly, Instruction No.1.7 and, as such, it could not be said that the narcotic contraband recovered in the matter would be of commercial quantity or above.
With the aforesaid observations and without commenting upon the merits of the case, the Court allowed the application and extended the liberty of bail to the Applicant. Furthermore, considering the role of the police, the Court directed an enquiry against the seizing officer for not following the mandatory provisions as laid down under the NDPS Act.
Case Title: NAIM KHAN VERSUS THE STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
Case citation: 2022 LiveLaw (MP) 279
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