The Punjab & Haryana High Court has ordered the Director-General of Police (Punjab) to take practical steps to curb the spread of drug supply and consumption in the State. It has further directed the DGP to 'catch hold' of such persons who are running fake companies/ fake medical stores without valid licenses, for illegal drug trade.
The direction was made by a bench of Justice HS Madaan while allowing the anticipatory bail plea of one Tarsem Singh, booked for alleged commission of offences under the NDPS Act. Though the plea was allowed due to lack of sufficient material to connect Singh with recovery of drugs, the Court issued directions to the DGP to thoroughly probe the matter to bust the drug cartel.
The prosecution's case is that one Manpreet Singh was found in possession of contraband, following which an FIR was registered against him. During the investigation, Manpreet disclosed that he supplied tablets to M/s Channi Medicos, of which the petitioner-accused herein was the proprietor. Thereafter, the petitioner first approached the Special Court for anticipatory bail; however, his plea was dismissed. Thus, the instant plea was moved before the High Court.
Advocate Raj Kumar Gupta argued that the petitioner had been wrongly implicated in this case and claimed that the petitioner is running a medical store under requisite licenses validly issued by the Department of Drugs Control; he is authorized to sell medicines and drugs. Moreover, it was contended that Manpreet Singh had not supplied any contraband to the petitioner, nor any such recovery had been effected from the latter.
Advocate Gupta also urged that in the written reply filed by the State, it has been contended that as per information received from manufacturers of the recovered tablets, such tablets, besides other materials, had been sold to several medical stores. It was also brought to the Court's notice that a departmental inquiry has been initiated against the investigating officer Sukhwinder Pal Singh for not investigating the case as per the due procedure.
The Additional Solicitor General, Rajinder Singh, appearing for the State, admitted the factum of the petitioner had joined the investigation further stating that though premises of the petitioner's concern was searched, no objectionable material was recovered. He further conceded to the submission that departmental action is being taken against the investigating officer in this case for not investigating properly and appropriately.
Thereby, for lack of material on record, the High Court granted pre-arrest bail with directions to the DGP to control the menace of drug abuse in the State.
As per the latest available report of Crime in India, 2019 collected by National Crime Records Bureau, Punjab has 23490 liquor & narcotic drugs related incidents, including offences under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. Hence, it records a rate of cognizable crime of 78.5% for such acts. In the ongoing Lok Sabha Session, the Minister of State in Ministry of Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai, gave data for 2017-19, showing that Punjab accounted for over 17% of the total country-wide incidents arising under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
Title: Tarsem Singh v. State Of Punjab