Uttaranchal High Court: Alok Kumar Verma, J., allowed a bail application which was filed for grant of regular bail for the offence under Section 8/20 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (“the Act, 1985”).

FIR stated that Sub-Inspector along with other police officials were present at Ataria for routine checking. The applicant was coming from Ataria with a bag. On suspicion, he was apprehended and 430 gram of charas was recovered from his bag.

Counsel for the applicant, Mr Anil Kumar submitted that the applicant had been implicated in this matter; he is a student; no contraband was recovered from his possession; the applicant had no criminal history; mandatory provisions of the Act, 1985 were not complied with.

A.G.A. for the State, Mr Pratiroop Pandey fairly conceded that the applicant had no criminal history but opposed the bail application.

The Court concluded that in terms of Section 2 (xxiii-a) and Section 2 (vii-a) of the Act, 1985, 100 gram of charas was small quantity and greater than one kg of charas was commercial quantity (Entry No.23).

Court further added that Refusal of bail is a restriction on the personal liberty of an individual, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The object of keeping the accused person in detention during the investigation is not punishment. The main purpose is manifestly to secure the attendance of the accused.

Court allowed the bail application holding that there was no reason to keep applicant behind the bars for an indefinite period.

[Harish Melkhani v. State of Uttarakhand, 2021 SCC OnLine Utt 1146, decided on 07-10-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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