In a rare judgment, a Chandigarh district court awarded death sentence to a 50-year-old from Amritsar for a drug crime committed five years ago. Usually the maximum punishment in a drug crime is rigorous imprisonment and a heavy fine.
Additional district and sessions judge Shalini Singh Nagpal held Paramjit Singh guilty of trafficking 10 kg of heroin and supplying it to an African national Sestus Benson in 2007.
Benson, a national of Burundi, was awarded 15 years of rigorous imprisonment besides being slapped a fine of Rs 1.5 lakh.
Both Singh and Benson were arrested in 2007, and since then have been in Burail jail.
“What made his crime grave was that Paramjit was out on parole granted by a Delhi court in another drug trafficking case,” said Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) special public prosecutor Kailash Chander.
He added that the verdict would act as a deterrent to drug peddlers.
“Paramjit had been arrested earlier in New Delhi for carrying 1.02 kg of heroin and was sentenced by a Delhi court in 2005. He was out on parole in 2007, only to be arrested again with the contraband,” said Chander.
NCB zonal director Rohit Katiyar said the judgment was historic and would act as a “deterrent in illegal drugs and crime cases”.
“It will go a long way in curbing the menace of narcotics abuse in the country, especially amongst the youth,” Katiyar said.