3-month imprisonment under NDPS Act reduced to 16 days to meet the ends of justice in light of convict’s old age: Bombay HC

Bombay High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of M.G. Giratkar, J. partly allowed an appeal filed against the judgment of the trial court whereby the appellant was convicted under Section 20(b)(i)(A) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

The case against the appellant was that 24 small packets containing ganja along with some currency notes were seized from his hotel. Thereafter, he was taken to the police station and a case was registered against him. The sample of seized material was sent to chemical analyser and it was proved that the material was ganja. Charges were framed against the appellantHe was tried and convicted by the trial court as mentioned above. Aggrieved thereby, the instant appeal was filed.

On perusal of the facts, the High Court found that the conviction of the appellant was based on proper appreciation of facts and the trial court gave a well-reasoned judgment. Therefore, on the issue of conviction, the Court held that no interference with the judgment impugned was warranted. However, on the issue of quantum of sentence, the High Court considered the fact that the appellant was aged about 68 years and was facing prosecution since 2006. In such circumstances, the Court held that the ends of justice would be met if the sentence of imprisonment (3 months) which was imposed on the appellant would be reduced to the period already undergone by him, i.e., 16 days. the appeal was, thus, partly allowed. [Vitthal v. State of Maharashtra,2018 SCC OnLine Bom 3707, dated 20-10-2018]

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