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NDPS Trial: Non Examination Of Independent Witness By Prosecution Does Not Mean Accused Was Falsely Implicated: SC [Read Judgment]

Live Law News Network
6 Jan 2020 11:14 AM GMT
NDPS Trial: Non Examination Of Independent Witness By Prosecution Does Not Mean Accused Was Falsely Implicated: SC [Read Judgment]

"The evidence of official witnesses cannot be distrusted and disbelieved, merely on account of their official status"

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In a trial under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, merely because the prosecution did not examine any independent witness, would not necessarily lead to conclusion that accused was falsely implicated, the Supreme Court has reiterated.

In this case,Surinder Kumar was convicted for the offence punishable under Section 18 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had affirmed the conviction.

In the appeal before the Supreme Court, the contention was that no independent witness was examined, despite the fact they were available.

While dealing with the contention, the bench comprising of Justices NV Ramana, R. Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai referred to Jarnail Singh v. State of Punjab, and said:

"In the aforesaid judgment, this Court has held that merely because prosecution did not examine any independent witness, would not necessarily lead to conclusion that accused was falsely implicated. The evidence of official witnesses cannot be distrusted and disbelieved, merely on account of their official status."

Addressing the argument that informant and investigator cannot be the same person, the bench observed:

"Learned counsel also placed reliance on the judgment of this Court in the case of Mohan Lal to support his argument that informant and investigator cannot be the same person. But in the subsequent judgment, in the case of Varinder Kumar this Court held that all pending criminal prosecutions, trials and appeals prior to law laid down in Mohan Lal, shall continue to be governed by individual facts of the case" 

Case Details

Case name: Surinder Kumar vs. State of Punjab
Case no. : Cri. Appeal 512 Of 2009 
Coram: Justices NV Ramana, R. Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai 
Counsel for Appellant: Sr. Adv Mahabir Singh Assisted by AoR D.Mahesh Babu,
Counsel for Respondent: Adv. Ranjeeta Rohatgi

Click here to Read/Download Judgment

[Read Judgment]


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