20 yrs RI to narco smuggler

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Apr 27: Principal Sessions Judge Jammu, Jang Bhadur Singh Jamwal today awarded 20 years rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs 1 lakh each to two narcotics smugglers, who were held with more than 27 kilograms of opium besides a revolver and 50 rounds of ammunition.
According to the police case, on the intervening night of January 30-31, 1998 Army authorities on receipt of information regarding the likelihood of smuggling of contraband in the area of Chenab river laid ambush on the Iceland (GR 538613) and apprehended two persons, who later on disclosed their names as Bharat Singh, son of Chajju Singh of Akhnoor and Ashok Kumar, son of Bodh Raj of Gangyal.
From their possession, more than 27 kilograms of opium, one revolver and 50 rounds of ammunition were recovered. Accordingly, a case was registered against them under relevant sections of law and after completion of investigation, challan was presented in the court of law.
After hearing both the sides, Principal Sessions Judge observed, “illicit drug trafficking is the most significant transnational organized crime, which has become a serious issue confronting both developing and developed countries”.
“In most countries, despite years of drug suppression and prevention efforts, the cycle of drug trafficking and drug abuse continues. If allowed to remain unabated, the drug menace will considerably destroy the quality of life of people and hamper countries in their social, economic and cultural development”, the Court said.
“India is a vast country with land borders extending over more than 15000 kilometres and a sea coast line of over 7000 kilometres. India’s narcotic problem needs to be visualized from its geographical situation. Moreover, India is flanked on either side by two regions which are internationally acknowledged as major sources of illicit opiates namely, South-West Asia (Afghanistan and Pakistan) and South-East Asia (Myanmar, Laos, Thailand)”, Principal Sessions Judge said, adding “additionally, Nepal, a traditional producer of cannabis, both herbal and resinous, fringes the country in the North. India is a traditional producer of licit opium for medicinal and scientific purposes. It is grown in three states, namely, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh under official control of Narcotics Commissioner”.
“A part of the licit opium enters the illicit market in different forms. Although opium production is strictly under Government control in India, illicit poppy plantations have been reported in some places. Besides, there is illicit cultivation of opium in the hill tracks of some states”, he said.
Principal Sessions Judge further observed, “let a deterrence message should also go to the career or those who are intending to join such kind of nefarious activities that the end of these kinds of activities is landing in the jail for quite a long time”.
“The accused/convicts have indulged themselves in transportation of the narcotic substance in more than commercial quantity. The person who is dealing with the business of commercial quantity in narcotics has to be dealt more severely”, the Court further observed.
With these observations, Court awarded rigorous imprisonment for a period of twenty years and fine of Rs 1 lakh to each accused. “In default of payment of fine, they shall suffer imprisonment for a period of five years”, the Court added.

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