HP HC | NDPS Act: Bail application in case of illegal cannabis transportation, must be rejected where trial is on the verge of conclusion

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Chander Bhusan Barowalia, J. dismissed bail application of a person accused of illegal transportation of cannabis, holding that the application was devoid of merits.

The instant bail application was moved by the petitioner under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for releasing him on bail, in a case registered for offence under Sections 20, 25 and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

The prosecution’s case was that around 5.650 kg of charas, enwrapped in polythene packets, was being carried by certain persons in a vehicle; when the same was seized by the police during patrolling check. While the petitioner managed to escape that day, he was arrested two months days later. The sample of recovered stuff was sent for scientific analysis and upon analysis, it was found to be a sample of cannabis.

Petitioner’s averments were that he was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case. He was neither in a position to tamper with the prosecution evidence nor in a position to flee from justice, so he may be released on bail. Whereas, Mr. S.K. Sharma, learned counsel appearing for the prosecution, submitted that petitioner was involved in transporting a huge quantity of charas and if he is enlarged on bail, he would repeat the offence. Thus, his bail application may be dismissed.

The Court observed that “at this stage, considering the quantity of charas, i.e., 5.650 kgs, the fact that trial is likely to conclude, there is likelihood that in case the petitioner, if enlarged on bail, may flee or indulge in such activities again”. In view thereof, it was opined that it was not a fit case for exercising judicial discretion to admit the petitioner on bail.[Vinod Kumar v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2019 SCC OnLine HP 551, decided on 29-04-2019]

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