Accused in drug seizure case can be granted bail for prolonged jail period during trial: Punjab and Haryana high court

Updated on Jun 09, 2022 12:28 AM IST

Granting bail to a woman booked in a drugs seizure case by Special Task Force, Mohali in 2019, the high court bench of justice JS Bedi held that on account of delay in the conclusion of trial, the rigors of Section 37 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act can be relaxed to an extent

Section 37 of the NDPS Act bars bail to a person booked in a case of seizure of commercial quantity of drugs. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Section 37 of the NDPS Act bars bail to a person booked in a case of seizure of commercial quantity of drugs. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
By, Chandigarh

An accused in a drug case can be granted bail if the jail period during trial is prolonged, the Punjab and Haryana high court has said.

Granting bail to a woman booked in a drugs seizure case by Special Task Force, Mohali in 2019, the high court bench of justice JS Bedi held “....on account of delay in the conclusion of trial, the rigors of Section 37 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act can be relaxed to an extent and the prayer of the accused for grant of bail can be considered despite the fact that she has been found in possession of commercial quantity of contraband.”

Section 37 of the NDPS Act bars bail to a person booked in a case of seizure of commercial quantity.

The woman, Ghanso, in her plea, had said that she was in custody since August 2019 and only three out of 32 witnesses have been examined so far. The woman, aged 37, said her husband has already passed away, because of which the burden of taking care of her young children falls upon her.

She had been charged for allegedly selling heroin, after 500gm of the contraband was recovered from the car in which she was travelling. She is also the owner of the car.

The court observed that in various judgments by the Supreme Court, it has considered and granted the concession of regular bail in cases where the accused has undergone a substantial period of custody despite the rigors of Section 37 of the NDPS Act.

The petitioner is in custody since 2019 and only three out of 32 witnesses have been examined so far, hence, she be granted bail, the court said. The court further ordered her to appear before the police station concerned on the first Monday of every month and inform in writing each time that she is not involved in any other crime. If, she is found involved in some other crime, the state may seek bail cancellation, the court ordered.

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