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Grounds For Bail Under NDPS Grounds For Bail Under NDPS

Bronze medal Reporter Adv Sanu Posted 1 Nov 2019
Grounds For Bail Under NDPS

Introduction of the NDPS Act (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act,) 1985 and came into force on 14 November 1985.  Under the NDPS Act, it is illicit for a person to produce/manufacture/cultivate, possess, sell, purchase, transport, store, and/or consume any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance. The Act has been revised twice – in 1988 and 2001. The Act stretches out to the entire of India and it applies likewise to every single Indian native outside India and to all people on boats and airship enlisted in India.

Along these lines, this demonstration is to merge and change the law identifying with opiate drugs and psychotropic substances, to apply stringent arrangements for the control and guideline of activities, and to execute the arrangements of the International shows on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and for issues associated therewith.

Undoubtedly, the bail provision under Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act as contained in Section 37 reads as: "No person accused of an offence punishable for offences involving commercial quantity shall be released on bail or on his own bond unless (i) the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release, and (ii) where the Public Prosecutor opposes the application, the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail."

In the recent case Ashkar v. State of Kerala, High Court of Kerala the Bench of N. Anil Kumar, J. allowed the bail application of a person accused of illegal possession of a psychotropic substance, on the ground that the quantity possessed by him was not ‘commercial quantity’ in terms of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. This case was handled by one of the famous criminal lawyer in India.

In a another case Sri Ashish Sarkar Vs The State Of Tripura  It is plain from a bare reading of the non-obstante clause in the Section and sub-section (2) thereof that the power to grant bail to a person accused of having committed offence under the NDPS Act is not only subject to the limitations imposed under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, it is also subject to the restrictions placed by sub-clause (b) of subsection (1) of Section 37 of the NDPS Act. Apart from giving an opportunity to the Public Prosecutor to oppose the application for such release, the other twin conditions viz; (i) the satisfaction of the Court that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of the alleged offence; and (ii) that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail, have to be satisfied. It is manifest that the conditions are cumulative and not alternative. The satisfaction contemplated regarding the accused being not guilty has to be based on "reasonable grounds". The expression `reasonable grounds' has not been defined in the said Act but means something more than prima facie grounds. It connotes substantial probable causes for believing that the accused is not guilty of the offence he is charged with. The reasonable belief contemplated in turn points to existence of such facts and circumstances as are sufficient in themselves to justify satisfaction that the accused is not guilty of the alleged offence. [Vide Union of India vs. Shiv Shanker Kesari2] Thus, recording of satisfaction on both the aspects, noted above, is a sine qua non for granting of bail under the NDPS Act.

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