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NDPS Charges Based On Section 67 Statements Of Accused Unsustainable : Supreme Court Applies 'Tofan Singh' Judgment

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
27 Oct 2021 3:06 PM GMT
NDPS Charges Based On Section 67 Statements Of Accused Unsustainable  : Supreme Court Applies Tofan Singh Judgment
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In a case under the NDPS Act, the Supreme Court has set aside the charges framed against the accused after noting that the case was based on statements by other accused given to officers under Section 67, which are inadmissible in evidence.A bench comprising Justices Sanjeev Khanna and Bela Trivedi noted that the Supreme Court's verdict in last year's case Tofan Singh v State of Tamil Nadu...

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In a case under the NDPS Act, the Supreme Court has set aside the charges framed against the accused after noting that the case was based on statements by other accused given to officers under Section 67, which are inadmissible in evidence.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjeev Khanna and Bela Trivedi noted that the Supreme Court's verdict in last year's case Tofan Singh v State of Tamil Nadu had declared that confessions made to NDPS officers are inadmissible in evidence.

The bench was dealing with an appeal challenging an order of the Allahabad High Court which reversed the discharge given to the accused by the trial court under Sections 27A and 29 of the NDPS Act. Before the High Court also, the accused had raised the contention that except the Section 67 statements, there was no other evidence against them. However, the High Court observed that once there was some material implicating the accused, the trial court was not justified in discharging them.

Challenging the High Court's order, the accused approached the Supreme Court. Allowing their appeal, the Supreme Court observed that the High Court erred in relying on the Section 67 statements in view of the verdict in the Tofan Singh case.

"The High Court was not correct in relying on the statements made by other accused under Section 67 of the NDPS Act, in light of the judgment of this Court in Tofan Singh Vs. State of Tamil Nadu, (2021) 4 SCC 1".

The Supreme Court observed that the factual position was that no narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances were recovered from the premises of the two appellants.

As per the prosecution, 4 kilograms of Acetic Anhydride (Controlled Substance) was allegedly found from the premises of the appellants located at Gyan Scientific Agency, Varanasi.

The Supreme Court however did not interfere with the framing of charges under Section 9A and 25 of the NDPS Act, which were not challenged. The charges framed under Section 27A and 29 were however set-aside.

Read this explainer to know more about the admissibility of the confessional statement recorded under the NDPS Act's Section 67: NDPS Act : Are 'Confessional' Statements Given Under Section 67 Admissible In Evidence?

Case Details

Title : Sanjeev Chandra Agarwal and Another versus Union of India

Bench : Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Bela M Trivedi

Appearances : Senior Advocate Kailash Vasudevan for appellants, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju for Union of India

Citation : LL 2021 SC 586

Click here to read/download the judgment




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