The Special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) court on Wednesday confirmed the death sentence awarded to Gulam Mohammed Malik, a convicted drug peddler, in 2007.
The sentencing was being heard for the second time after the Bombay high court sent the case back to the special court for reconsideration of the
“The issue is not of repeated offences alone, it is also the quantity of drugs seized from Malik. The death penalty is awarded only in the rarest of rare cases and the ruling shows the trial court believes Malik’s offence falls into that category,” said special public prosecutor, Arun Gupte.
Appearing for Malik, defence advocate HE Mooman contended the death penalty was not warranted. “The death penalty can be given only when no other punishment will suffice, which is not the case here,” Mooman said.
Malik was arrested in January 2002, after the Narcotics Control Bureau seized a truck with 142 kg of hashish in Ahmedabad.
Documents found in the truck indicated that 55 kg of the contraband was to be delivered to Malik. On January 14, 2002, officials from NCB’s Mumbai unit tracked Malik to his Dongri residence where they found 1.8 kg of hashish.
Malik’s revelations during interrogation led the NCB to another 188 kg of hashish stashed in an Andheri godown.
Malik was first convicted in March 2004 by a fast track court in Ahmedabad and sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment. On December 18, 2007, the special court in Mumbai found him guilty in the second case and sentenced him to death.