In the latest Judgment of High Court, Hon’ble Justice Vibhu Bakhru of the Delhi High Court granted bail to a person accused of dealing drugs.
The Court found that the Prosecution has failed to prove through medical evidence that the accused is a Drug Addict.
Officer of the Narcotics Control Bureau received secret information that two persons, Guljar and Rafik, would arrive at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway station, New Delhi to catch a train to Mumbai. The informant told the officials of NCB that they would be carrying charas.
The investigators from NCB laid a trap, and both the accused were caught at the Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway station. A person named Ramdev was also caught with them. Ramdev told the Police that he was a travel agent.
Notices under section 50 of the NDPS act were served on all three. No contraband was found on their person but when their trolley bag was searched some material was found in a hidden compartment. A test was conducted on the substance, and it was found to be charas. Overall, 6.2 kg charas was recovered from the bag.
Notices under Section 67 of the NDPS Act were served on the accused, and their statements were recorded.
The accused Rafik told the Police that he used to work as a taxi driver when the petitioner approached him. Later on, the petitioner asked him to deliver ‘charas’ to places like Delhi and Mumbai. On the day he was caught he was supposed to deliver the consignment of charas to Mumbai and was promised Rs 80000. Rafik told the Police that Guljar was his cousin and asked Guljar to accompany him to Mumbai.
Rafik told the Police that the petitioner was currently resident in Choj Village in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. Rafik also informed the Police that the petitioner used to get charas from Ramesh, Neelchand and Purshottam.
The Police reached Choj village and went to the residence of the petitioner. A notice under section 67 of the NDPS Act was served on him, and his voluntary statement was recorded.
The petitioner in his statement told the Police that he was addicted to charas and used to buy the contraband from Ramesh, Neelchand and Purshottam. He told the Police that he used to send the contraband to his friends in Mumbai. It was also mentioned that the petitioner was using Rafik and Guljar as traffickers.
The petitioner also stated that he used to pay Neelchand in his bank account and sometimes in hard cash. He also disclosed numbers of his close aides and suppliers.
The reasoning of the Court
The Court observed the fact that the whole case was dependent on the statement of Rafik and Guljar who have retracted their statement. On the issue of admissibility of their statement, the Court relied on Tofan Singh vs State of Tamil Nadu, where it was held that self-incriminating evidence like these are a weak form of evidence and can only be used to corroborate other evidence.
As the NCB relied on bank statements of Neelchand and CDRs of petitioner and Neelchand, the Court noted that deposits in the account of Neelchand and his family members do not correspond with any transaction palace on record.
The NCB had also stated that some of the deposits were made by a person named Jay, the Court opined that the said deposit slips were not collected and placed before the Court.
The Court also noted the fact that the statement of the appellant had stated that he gave 1kg charas to Rafik while the quantity recovered from Rafik was 6.2 kgs which go on to show that the stories did not match.
It was also observed that as per the petition the NCB has stated that the petitioner was a drug addict and that why he started dealing in charas cannot be proved as his medical records were not placed before the Court.
The Court also stated that even though the petitioner named many people in his statement, only Gaurav was arrayed as an accused and he has also been discharged.
The Court opined that the NCB was unable to conclusively prove who were the buyers and suppliers in this case.
Court also observed that there is no reason to believe that if accused is granted bail he would commit a similar offence.
The decision of the Court
After going through the evidence, the Court believed that there were reasonable grounds that the petitioner might be acquitted in trial.
The Court allowed the petition, and he was released on bail.
Title:- Jay Haresh Somaiya vs NCB
Case No. Bail Application no. 602/2020
Date of Order:02.09.2020
Coram: Hon’ble Justice Vibhu Bakhru
Advocates: Mr Akshay Bhandari for the petitioner: Mr Subash Bansal for NCB