Punjab and Haryana High Court: While deciding the instant appeal, preferred by the appellant against the order of Additional Sessions Judge for an offence under Section 15 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, H.S. Madaan, J., upheld the judgment of conviction and order of sentence saying that the drug peddlers have successfully destroyed the social fabric of our society and led youth to the wrongful path, therefore, such type of persons need to be dealt firmly and sternly and no sympathy should be shown to them.
The trial court convicted the appellant and sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and to pay a fine.
The police were informed that the appellant operates from an abandoned house in Fatehpuri village and sells poppy husk. Receiving this information, the Investigating Officer formed a raiding party and apprehended the appellant. At the time of the raid, the appellant was found sitting on the bags of contraband.
Another person joined as independent witnesses by the police party and in whose presence the recovery was affected. But, at the time of cross examination, he said that he never joined the raiding party. Due to this, the appellant is claiming that he was falsely implicated as the witness clearly says that no raid was conducted.
Observation and Analysis:
The Court noted that the allegation by the accused of being falsely implicated has proved to be false as the account given by the police comes out to be worthy of reliance.
The Court said “It has to be kept in mind that many a times, human beings do get influenced by various factors like close proximity with a person, accused of an offence, considerations like caste, creed religion and factors like the person, accused belonging to the same village or town, which make them hesitant to speak the truth and rather presenting a wrong version to help the accused. Merely because the independent witness had chosen not to support the prosecution story, the prosecution story does not get adversely affected for those reasons since as already observed, the official witnesses did not have any motive to involve the accused in this case wrongly or depose against him to secure his conviction.”
The Court said that when the sample parcels reached the Forensic Science Laboratory, then the seals were intact, and the samples were found to be that of poppy straw. The Court further noted the accused was in conscious possession of the contraband as no reasonable or plausible explanation was given and could have been given by the accused as to why he was in the possession of the contraband without any license or permit.
The Court noted that “the appellant/accused of a pecuniary benefit opted to play with lives and health of people of the area by making them addict to taking drugs. The drug peddlers have successfully destroyed the social fabric of our society and led youth to the wrongful path. Such types of people need to be dealt with firmly and sternly and no sympathy can be shown to them lest that should prove to be counterproductive and result in increased drug trafficking. Therefore, the sentence awarded to the appellant/accused is not found to be on very high side and does not call for any reduction.”
The Court while upholding the judgment of conviction and order of sentence passed by the Trial Court cancelled the bail granted by it and directed to issue warrants.
[Chhota Singh v. State of Haryana, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 2409, decided on 09-09-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. Ramesh Goyat, Advocate, for the Appellant;
Mr. Vijesh Sharma, Addl.A.G., for the Respondent.