Punjab and Haryana High Court: In a petition filed under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 seeking bail for offence under Sections 21(c), 22(c) and 25 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (‘NDPS Act’), Jasjit Singh Bedi, J. refused to grant bail to the petitioner noting the fact that he was also involved in another case of NDPS Act and absconding the same.
The police on patrol duty received information that a person who used to sell intoxicating medicines would be coming to his sister’s house. Therefore, the person was apprehended and 240 strips, each strip containing 50 tablets i.e., 12000 tablets of Alprazolam tablets and 70 MTP kits, were recovered from him.
During investigation, the said person named the petitioner from whom he purchased the said intoxicating tablets. Thus, raids were conducted, but the petitioner was not found to be present there. Call records of the said person and the petitioner indicated that the two were in touch with each other, and it also transpired that the petitioner was an accused in another matter under NDPS Act along with the said person, which he was absconding.
Court’s Analysis for Bail in NDPS Act
The Court referred to/relied on State of Haryana v. Samarth Kumar 2022 (3) RCR (Criminal) 991, Vijay Singh v. State of Haryana (Special Leave to Appeal Criminal No. 1266 of 2023; decided on 17-05-2023), Vikrant Singh v. State of Punjab, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 3584, etc. wherein, different views taken by the Courts for similar facts.
Coming back to the instant case wherein the petitioner was an accused due to disclosure by the co-accused, the Court noted the fact that the petitioner was also accused in another matter under for offence under Sections 21-C, 22-C, 29 of the NDPS Act along with the same co-accused arrested in the instant matter. The Court pointed towards the unlikeliness of the petitioner being implicated in multiple FIRs at the whims and fancies of the Investigating Agency.
Section 37 of NDPS Act
It expressed that “when there are multiple FIRs against an accused over a significant period of time, then the twin conditions as envisaged under Section 37 of the NDPS Act that he had not committed an offence and was not likely to commit an offence cannot be satisfied.” It further explained that the limitations on bail under NDPS Act Section 37 were in addition to the ones prescribed under CrPC.
The Court was of the view that a habitual offender was not entitled to bail even under provisions of CrPC, due to his criminal antecedent, and that custodial interrogation was necessary for effecting recoveries, even though such accused may have joined investigation at an earlier stage. Therefore, the Court dismissed the instant petition finding no merit.
[Mohammad Rayyan Ansar v. State of Haryana, 2023 SCC OnLine P&H 1904, decided on 21-09-2023]
Judgment by: Justice Jasjit Singh Bedi
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Advocate Mohd. Uzair, Assistant Advocate General of Haryana Kanwar Sanjiv Kumar