Those caught in possession of the party drug methamphetamine, popularly known as Ice, may find it difficult to get bail.
The Bombay High Court has reversed its soft stand towards accused involved in offences pertaining to the drug.
A single judge bench of Justice JH Bhatia last week cancelled bail granted by the designated Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act court to two Malaysian nationals accused of possessing large quantities of the high-degree stimulant.
The Mumbai unit of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested Ravindran Karapaya, 45, and Gurusekharan Pillay, 39, at Vadodara in November 2008 in a drug-related case.
Four days later, the NCB raided a flat the accused at rented at Thakur village in Kandivli and seized 7 kg of Ice and 5 kg ephedrine.
The accused are in an Ahmedabad jail.
The NDPS court had granted the accused bail on the grounds that possession, trafficking, or sale of the psychotropic substance prima facie did not attract the provisions and rigour of the NDPS Act, 1985, since methamphetamine was scheduled under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
Mandar Goswami, counsel for the NCB, argued that contravention in relation to high-degree stimulants such as Ice amounted to an offence under section 8 of the NDPS Act that prohibits the sale, purchase, possession and transportation of psychotropic substances except for medical purposes.
Justice Bhatia accepted Goswami’s contention and cancelled bail granted to Karapaya and Pillay.
Goswami told the Hindustan Times that manufacturing and consuming Ice is banned across the globe, except in India where the high-degree stimulant can be manufactured and sold under licence for medical use.
Over the years, small illegal units manufacturing methamphetamine had come up at many places because of the soft approach of courts towards accused involved in offences related to it, said an NCB Officer, who requested anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The Malaysian nationals had purportedly purchased the seized material from a small factory located in rural parts of Vadodara district.
He added that recently one such unit at Ambernath was also busted.