HC refuses to cancel bail of 5 accused in drug haul
The Centre failed to convince the Bombay high court to cancel the bail of the accused in one of the largest drug haul this year because of a technicality. Mohan K Korappath reports.mumbai Updated: Sep 09, 2011 00:57 IST
The Centre failed to convince the Bombay high court to cancel the bail of the accused in one of the largest drug haul this year because of a technicality.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had moved the high court seeking to cancel the bail granted to five accused, who were arrested by them on June 2 for possession and manufacture of 1,026kg of a recreational drug, Ketamine Hydrochloride, worth around Rs3.6 crore.
The DRI was seeking cancellation of bails granted to Abhijeet Konduskar, whose family runs the travel company, Konduskar Travels, Jayanthilal Kothari and three others.
Konduskar was granted bail on July 22, while the remaining four secured bail on August 8.
The Centre sought to cancel the bail on the grounds that the drugs seized were of commercial quantity, thereby attracting section 22 (c) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
The government’s case, however, slipped after the defence pointed out that the government’s notification, prescribing commercial and small quantity for ketamine, was issued on June 21, which was after the arrest of the accused. Hence, the relevant section under NDPS does not apply, the court was told.
Defence counsel Mahesh Jethmalani also argued that in a criminal case, a notification that prescribes the punishment cannot be treated retrospectively.
First Published: Sep 09, 2011 00:55 IST