The court of additional district and sessions judge Rajnish Kumar Sharma on Monday sentenced a Ludhiana resident Harbhajan Singh, 43, to 12-year rigorous imprisonment for possessing 150kg poppy husk, and fined him Rs 1 lakh.
The case dates back to 2014 when a truck was caught in transformer theft and Harbhajan Singh’s brother Jang Singh had got it released from the court after about two years. The truck was taken to a mechanic Jaspal Singh on the Trilokpur road in Raipur Rani, and after two days of its release on March 24, 2014, the police raided the truck standing at the mechanic’s shop and recovered 150kg poppy husk from its tool box. As Harbhajan Singh was standing by the vehicle, he was arrested and a case under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act was registered at the Raipur Rani police station.
The mechanic, a prime witness in the case, had died during the pendency of the case, while Jung Singh was arrested after about six months. As per the police, both Harbhajan and Jang were peddlers and used to procure contraband.
After the trial, Jang Singh was acquitted as there was no witness who could prove he fled from the spot, as the police were alleging.
The judgment concluded, “…the prosecution has proved beyond the shadow of reasonable doubt that accused Harbhajan Singh kept concealed in his conscious possession 150kg poppy husk in six bags, without any licence. He is hereby held guilty under Section 15 of the Act and convicted thereunder.”
The court said, “The recovery falls within the commercial quantity of the contraband. The narcotics are spoiling the lives of the youths, and have become a menace. A person in possession of narcotics or psychotropic substances is not entitled for any leniency. Therefore, keeping in view the totality of the circumstances, Harbhajan Singh is sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 12 years, and will pay Rs 1 lakh fine for the commission of offence under section 15 of the NDPS Act, 1985.”