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NDPS Act | Duration Of Custody Alone Not Ground For Grant Of Bail: Punjab & Haryana High Court Reiterates

Drishti Yadav
8 Aug 2022 6:00 AM GMT
NDPS Act | Duration Of Custody Alone Not Ground For Grant Of Bail: Punjab & Haryana High Court Reiterates
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently denied regular bail to an accused involved in a case registered in the year 2020 under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, over recovery of 120 grams heroin along with drug money. The bench comprising Justice Avneesh Jhingan placed reliance on the judgement of Supreme Court in NCB v. Mohit Aggarwal and held that...

The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently denied regular bail to an accused involved in a case registered in the year 2020 under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, over recovery of 120 grams heroin along with drug money.

The bench comprising Justice Avneesh Jhingan placed reliance on the judgement of Supreme Court in NCB v. Mohit Aggarwal and held that custody period alone cannot be a ground for grant of bail, and rigours under Section 37 of the Act will apply.

The length of the period of custody or the fact that the charge-sheet has been filed and the trial has commenced are by themselves not considerations that can be treated as persuasive grounds for granting relief to the respondent under Section 37 of the NDPS Act, a three judge bench comprising CJI NV Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli had held in Mohit Aggarwal (supra).

Facts relevant to the case are, on receiving information, petitioner and co-accused were apprehended in November 2020 and 120 grams of heroin and Rs.60,000/- drug money was recovered from their possession. Further, at the instance of accused, commercial quantity of heroine along with a pistol was also recovered from the Border area.

Regarding the contention of learned counsel for petitioner that car was apprehended after sunset and without authorisation, the court noted that the same would be a subject matter of trial.

Moreover, apart from the recovery made from their possession, more than 3 kilograms of Heroin and a weapon was also recovered at the instance of accused the court added.

Considering that the allegations against the accused are serious, the court noted that for grant of bail in a case involving commercial quantity of contraband the Court needs to satisfy itself that accused is not guilty and is unlikely to commit any offence on bail as per Section 37 of the Act.

As per Section 37 of the Act, for grant of bail in cases involving commercial quantity of contraband, the Court has to satisfy itself on the reasonable ground that accused is not guilty and he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. The twin conditions are required to be fulfilled.

Considering the facts and circumstances of the present case, the court held that the petitioner being involved in four other cases under the NDPS Act cannot be assumed prima-facie to be not likely to commit any offence while on bail.

Accordingly, the court dismissed the instant petition.

Case Title : Gurbhej Singh @ Bheja v. State of Punjab

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 216 

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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