The Bombay high court on Monday commuted the death sentence of a Kashmiri citizen, who had been found in possession of more than 188 kg of hashish in a south Mumbai flat, into life in prison.
The division bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and RG Ketkar held that the extreme penalty was not warranted in Gulam Mohammed Malik’s case, while declining to confirm the death sentence awarded to the Baramulla resident by a designated NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) court in Mumbai.
The high court has sentenced him to imprisonment for a period of 20 years and a fine of Rs2 lakh. Malik will have to serve an additional 10 years and Rs1 lakh fine if the apex court rejects his plea against his conviction by a Gujarat NDPS court in another case in 2004, which was subsequently upheld by the Gujarat high court.
Malik was arrested in 2002 after a tip-off from the Ahmedabad police which seized a hasish contraband of which he was one of the recipients. The raid on his rented flat at Imamwada in south Mumbai yielded 29.8 kg of hashish, while another 159 kg was recovered on information provided by him a few days later.
On August 3 last year, a Mumbai NDPS court sentenced Malik to death in the wake of a provision in the NDPS Act providing mandatory death sentence to offenders found trafficking commercial quantity of contraband on second count.