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NDPS Act : Should Weight Of Blotting Paper Carrying LSD Be Considered To Determine If Contraband Is Of "Commercial Quantity"? Bombay High Court To Decide

Sharmeen Hakim
8 Jun 2021 4:25 AM GMT
NDPS Act : Should Weight Of Blotting Paper Carrying LSD Be Considered To Determine If Contraband Is Of Commercial Quantity? Bombay High Court To Decide
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The Narcotics Control Bureau - investigating the drug case connected to actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death - has urged the Bombay High Court to determine if the weight of blotting paper, which carries the LSD drug (Lysergic acid diethylamide), should also be taken into account to decide if the drug recovered is of a 'commercial quantity' or 'small quantity,' under the NDPS Act. The...

The Narcotics Control Bureau - investigating the drug case connected to actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death - has urged the Bombay High Court to determine if the weight of blotting paper, which carries the LSD drug (Lysergic acid diethylamide), should also be taken into account to decide if the drug recovered is of a 'commercial quantity' or 'small quantity,' under the NDPS Act.

The NCB has said that since the NDPS Act applies the drug's street weight and not just the pure active component's weight, the complete form in which the drug sold should be considered.

The investigating agency has raised the question of law in an appeal against the trial court's order, directing it to send the 31 LSD blots allegedly recovered from accused Anuj Keshwani for re-testing to the Forensic Science Laboratory, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

The amount of drug assumes importance in cases under the NDPS Act, as a conviction for possession of a commercial quantity would constitute a graver offence under the Act.

In its order from April 30, the Special NDPS Court had directed the FSL to mention the drug's weight sans the blotting paper, and further specify if the quantity of LSD mentioned as '0.62 gms,' in its report, is inclusive or of the blotting paper's weight or not. According to the NDPS Act, 0.1 gm of LSD is considered a commercial quantity.

On Monday, Justice AS Gadkari recorded appearances of advocate Shreeram Shirsat for the NCB, and Advocates Taraq Sayed and Gayatri Gokhale for the Anuj Keshwani.

Shirsat sought a short adjournment as the Additional Solicitor General would want to address the court on the point of law.

He said the NCB is relying on Supreme Court's judgement in HiraSingh & Anr V/s Union Of India & Anr, where the bench held that if a drug is mixed with a neutral substance, the entire weight of material should be considered to determine whether it amounted to 'small quantity' or 'commercial quantity.'

Sayed submitted that he would be relying on the Bombay High Court's 2020 judgement in the case of Hiten Hemant Malhotra vs the State of Maharashtra. Here the bench held that blotting paper should not be used to determine the actual quantity of LSD Drug. The court has also considered Hira Singh's judgement here.

"In my view, though after swallowing piece of paper, which causes release of drug but since that paper only carries drug and facilitates its consumption, the paper with LSD drops, as a whole, is neither "preparation", within the meaning of Section Rane 8/12 BA-352-2020 Monday, 7.12.2020 2(xx), nor a "mixture" within the meaning of of the NDPS Act," Justice SK Shinde observed.

During the hearing, Sayed submitted that the court may grant NCB the adjournment but direct them to send the samples for testing, as the procedure would take time and Keshwani remains in prison.

Shirsat, however, opposed the prayer and the matter was adjourned to June 9.

According to the NBC's, they recovered 585 gms of hash, 270.1 gms of marijuana, 3.6 gms of THC and 0.62 gms of LSD from Keshwani's house.


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