HC refuses bail in NDPS case

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, July 5: High Court today refused to grant bail to an accused involved in drug trafficking by recording that the case in which a commercial quantity of contraband is recovered the reason for not guilty of offence has to be looked into.
Justice Sanjay Dhar has dismissed the bail plea of accused Bilal Ahmad Sheikh who was arrested with charas of 1 kg and 300 grams and after investigation of the case, offences under Section 8/20 of the NDPS Act were found established against him and the challan was laid before the trial court.
Justice Dhar said that in the cases in which commercial quantities of contraband is alleged to have been recovered from the accused, bail can be granted only if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accused is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.
Court said mandate is required to be followed at the time of consideration of the bail application of the accused and these limitations on grant of bail are in addition to the limitations under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Court said unless it is shown from the material on record, which would include the statements of the prosecution witnesses recorded during the trial, that there are reasonable grounds to justify the satisfaction that the accused is not guilty of the alleged offences, the accused cannot be enlarged on bail.
“Before embarking upon the analysis of the evidence lead by the prosecution in order to determine the merits of the submissions advanced by the counsel for the petitioner-accused, it needs to be borne in mind that while deciding a bail application, this Court is not required to appreciate and scrutinize the evidence in detail at this stage. A meticulous and critical analysis of the evidence by the prosecution at this stage is not permissible”, Court recorded.
From the statements of the prosecution witnesses and the evidence, which is yet to be led by the prosecution, Justice Dhar said it can safely be stated that this Court cannot draw a satisfaction that the accused is not guilty of the alleged offence.
“From the perusal of the aforesaid observations of the Supreme Court, it is clear that unless two conditions mandated under Section 37 of the NDPS Act are satisfied, an accused who is involved in offence relating to commercial quantity of contraband, cannot be enlarged on bail”, court concluded and dismissed the application by saying that mere long incarceration of an accused by itself is no ground to enlarge him on bail in a case where rigour of Section 37 of the NDPS Act is attracted.