International boxer Ram Singh, arrested last month in connection with a huge amount of heroin and other drugs seized in the state, received bail on Thursday here.
Fatehgarh Sahib special judge Kuldip Singh issued the bail orders. After the arrest of expatriate Anoop Singh Kahlon, the police had claimed to have busted an international drug-trade racket operating from the state. Last month, Punjab Police dismissed Ram Singh as head constable in the force.
The police had charged Ram Singh with consuming heroin bought from Kahlon and Kulwinder Singh "Rocky". The results of his blood, urine and hair examinations are awaited. There is no mention that any other evidence is to be collected.
Devinder Attri, station house officer of Fatehgarh Sahib, has recorded a statement that the police had pressed charges against Ram Singh under Section 27 (punishment for illegal possession of small quantity of drug for personal consumption) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act only for the time being. The maximum punishment under the law is rigorous imprisonment up to one year or a fine of up to Rs. 20,000 or both.
Ram Singh's counsels Mandeep Singh Bains and Jashandeep Singh submitted in court that Section 27 of the NDPS Act was about punishment for consuming any drug, and it was yet to be seen it could apply to any previous consumption also. Under schedule 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), consuming heroin is an offence carrying imprisonment of less than three years or fine, and the man accused can get bail and be tried in any court.
The CrPC has been made applicable to the proceeding before the special court as allowed under Section 36 (c) of the NDPS Act. However, Section 37(i) (a) of the law makes every offence under the NDPS Act cognizable, whereas the right to bail has been restricted in Section 37(i)(b) referring to some other laws and offence involving commercial quantity. The counsel argued that Section 37(i)(b) was not applicable in the present case, since the charge against Ram Singh for the time being was under a law that was bailable.
The court ordered Ram Singh to be released on bail on his furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 20,000 with like surety to the satisfaction of the area magistrate.