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If Seized Contraband Is Found To Contain 'Morphine' & 'Meconic Acid', It Is Sufficient To Establish That It Is 'Opium Poppy' : Supreme Court

Ashok KM
24 Nov 2022 12:24 PM GMT
If Seized Contraband Is Found To Contain Morphine & Meconic Acid, It Is Sufficient To Establish That It Is Opium Poppy : Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that if the seized contraband is found to contain 'morphine' and 'meconic acid', it is sufficient to established that it is a 'opium poppy" as defined in Section 2(xvii) of the NDPS Act.

In this case, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had acquitted the NDPS accused by allowing their appeals on the ground that the prosecution has failed to establish that the seized material is not the genesis of a plant of Papaver somniferum L or any other plant, which is notified by the Central Government under Section 2(xvii) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

When the appeals filed by the State came up for hearing before the Apex Court bench of Justices BR Gavai and Vikram Nath, it noted a recent judgment in State of Himachal Pradesh v. Nirmal Kaur alias Nimmo.

It has been held that once it is found that the seized material contain 'morphine' and 'meconic acid' it is sufficient to establish that the seized material comes within the definition of Section 2(xvii) of the NDPS Act, the bench noted.

The court therefore set aside the HC judgments and remitted back the cases to consider them afresh, in accordance with the judgment in Nirmal Kaur alias Nimmo (supra).

Nirmal Kaur alias Nimmo Judgment

In Nirmal Kaur alias Nimmo, it was observed thus by a bench of Justices BR Gavai and CT Ravikumar:

Once a Chemical Examiner establishes that the seized 'poppy straw' indicates a positive test for the contents of 'morphine' and 'meconic acid', it is sufficient to establish that it is covered by subclause (a) of Clause (xvii) of Section 2 of the 1985 Act and no further test would be necessary for establishing that the seized material is a part of 'papaver somniferum L'. In other words, once it is established that the seized 'poppy straw' tests positive for the contents of 'morphine' and 'meconic acid', no other test would be necessary for bringing home the guilt of the accused under the provisions of Section 15 of the 1985 Act.

Case details

State of Himachal Pradesh vs Angejo Devi | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 990 | CrA 959/2012 | 23 Nov 2022 | Justices BR Gavai and Vikram Nath

For Appellant(s) Mr. Abhinav Mukerji, AOR (AAG/Himachal Pradesh) Ms. Bihu Sharma,Adv. Mr. Akshay C. Shrivastava,Adv. Ms. Pratiksha Vij,Adv.

For Respondent(s) Ms. Aishwarya Bhati,ASG Mr. Jayant K Sud, ASG Ms. Sonia Mathur,Sr.Adv. Mr. Sanjay Kumar Tyagi,Adv. Mr. G.S. Makker,Adv. Mr. Arvind Kumar Sharma, AOR Mr. Sanjay Kumar Tyag Adv. Mr. Rajan Kumar Chourasia Adv. Mr. Madhav Sinhal Adv. Mr. Neeraj Jain,Sr.Adv. Ms. Nidhi, AOR Mr. Avijit Mani Tripathi, AOR Mr. R. Nedumaran, AOR

Headnotes

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 ; Section 2(xvii) - Once it is found that the seized material contain 'morphine' and 'meconic acid' it is sufficient to establish that the seized material comes within the definition of Section 2(xvii) of the NDPS Act (opium poppy) - Followed State of Himachal Pradesh vs. Nirmal Kaur alias Nimmo 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 866. (Para 3-4)

Click here to Read/Download Judgment



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