The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently refused to doubt the prosecution's story in a NDPS case, merely on the ground that the alleged secret information on the basis of which the accused was apprehended was shared with a Gazetted officer, even before his apprehension.
The Petitioner, seeking regular bail in matter involving recovery of more than 20 kg tablets containing Tramadol salt, had argued that the story put forth by the police official is improbable as prior to apprehending the petitioner, a Gazetted Officer was called at the spot.
The bench comprising Justice Avneesh Jhingan held,
"On receiving a secret passing of the information to a Gazetted Officer, in itself will not be enough to even prima-facie conclude that the story of the prosecution is improbable."
The bench also held that Section 37 of the Act provides stringent condition for bail in case of recovery of commercial quantity and the custody in itself will not be the only consideration for the grant of regular bail, considering the quantity of recovery.
Further, the Court noted that the Petitioner had claimed this to be his first bail plea whereas, as per the Registry, this was his second petition under Section 439 CrPC as the first bail plea was dismissed vide order dated 3rd September 2020.
Furthermore, it was noted by the court that more than 20 kg tablets containing Tramadol salt has been recovered from the petitioner whereas the license was only for godown purposes.
The conduct of the petitioner is evident from the fact that material facts have been withheld from this Court. Be that as it may, the recovery from the petitioner is of more than 20 kg tablets containing Tramadol salt.
After considering the rival submission of the parties and the law laid down by the statute, the court held that Section 37 of the Act provides stringent condition for grant of bail in cases where commercial quantity is recovered.
The court further added that the custody (since 8th November, 2019) in itself will not be the only consideration for the grant of regular bail, more so considering the quantity of recovery.
Therefore, the instant petition was dismissed without making any orders on the merits.
Case Title: Jaswinder Singh @ Jass VERSUS State of Punjab
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 135