No immunity from prosecution can be granted to a person who indulged in drug peddling, the Bombay High Court ruled recently.
Justice VK Tahilramani rejected the application filed by 22-year-old Anuradha Sanyal, who was caught during a rave party in Juhu in 2008, was charged with selling contraband material to more than 200 youngsters who attended the party.
Sanyal had moved the high court after a designated judge of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act court rejected her plea for granting immunity from prosecution in accordance with section 64A of the act. Section 64A grants immunity from prosecution to addicts volunteering for de-addiction treatment.
Sanyal’s counsel Ayaz Khan’s argument relied heavily on two points – the girl was found in possession of only 20gm of charas, and that she had successfully undergone a de-addiction and rehabilitation course at KEM Hospital.
Khan contended that the NDPS Act was a reformative legislation which gave a chance to addicts charged with offences relating to a small quantity of drugs, and who voluntarily undergo a medical treatment for de-addiction as per section 64A.
On the other hand, additional public prosecutor AA Mane pointed out that it was not merely a case of personal consumption, but the accused was allegedly involved in the conspiracy to sell the contraband material. This disentitled her from immunity.
The court accepted the prosecutor’s arguments and rejected Sanyal’s plea saying, “It is not a fit case to grant immunity from prosecution under section 64A of the NDPS Act.” Sanyal was caught on October 5, 2008, along with several others during a raid on a hotel in Juhu.