Criminal Law; Yashpal Vs. Narcotics Control Bureau [Himachal Pradesh High Court, 27-12-2017]

Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 – Ss. 8, 20, 25 & 29 – Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 – S. 439 – Bail Application – 4.272 kg Charas recovered from the hotel owned by bail petitioner – alleged contraband has not been recovered from the conscious possession of the bail petitioner, rather, he was subsequently called by the officials of NCB – Petition allowed.

Held:- True it is that quantity of contraband allegedly recovered from the hotel owned by bail petitioner is commercial in nature, but that cannot be sole ground to keep the bail petitioner in custody that too, for indefinite period, especially when lease agreement placed on record suggests that at the time of search/ recovery of contraband, Hotel Yash Palace was in occupation and possession of co-accused Ram Prakash and as such, this Court sees no reason to let bail petitioner incarcerate in jail during pendency of the trial. This Court also cannot lose sight of the fact that alleged contraband has not been recovered from the conscious possession of the bail petitioner, rather, he was subsequently called by the officials of NCB, on the basis of statement made by co-accused Ram Prakash that bail petitioner is the owner of the Hotel. But, as has been taken note above, lease deed dated 9.5.2016 executed inter se bail petitioner and co-accused suggests that for eleven months, Hotel Yash Palace was leased out to the co-accused by the bail petitioner. Otherwise, coaccused namely Ram Prakash, who was actually present in the Hotel at the time of search, has categorically stated in his statement given to the NCB that apart from hotel activities, he was earning money from illegal trade of narcotics. Above named co-accused is in custody. Otherwise also, guilt, if any, of the bail petitioner is yet to be proved in accordance with law by the investigating agency by leading cogent and convincing evidence. There is no material placed on record by investigating agency suggestive of the fact that bail petitioner had been previously indulging in such illegal trade of narcotic substances and in the event of his being enlarged on bail, he may flee from justice. Petitioner, who is a local resident of area, shall always remain available for investigation/ trail. Otherwise, the apprehension expressed by the investigating agency with regard to the bail petitioner fleeing from justice, can be met by putting bail petitioner to stringent conditions.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH, SHIMLA

Coram: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sandeep Sharma, Judge.

CrMP(M) No. 1381 of 2017

Decided on December 27, 2017

Yashpal … Petitioner Versus Narcotics Control Bureau Respondent

For the petitioner : Mr. N.S. Chandel, Advocate.

For the respondent : Mr. Ashwani Pathak, Senior Advocate with Mr. Sandeep K. Sharma, Advocate.

Sandeep Sharma, Judge (oral):

Bail petitioner namely Yashpal, who is in judicial lockup, has approached this Court by way of present petition under Section 439 CrPC, praying herein for grant of regular bail, in connection with Crime No. 57/2016 dated 31.12.2016, under Sections 8, 20, 25 and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, registered by Narcotics Control Bureau, Sub Zonal Unit, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh.

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