JEET RAM Vs. NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU, CHANDIGARH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: HIMACHAL PRADESH)
NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU, CHANDIGARH
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R.SUBHASH REDDY, J. -
(1.)This appeal is filed by the sole accused, in Sessions Trial No.7-5/2002 of 2001 on the file of Sessions Judge, Shimla, aggrieved by the judgment of conviction dated 11.12.2012 and further order of sentencing the appellant, dated 31.12.2012, passed by the High Court of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla in Criminal Appeal No.493 of 2003.
(2.)The appellant-accused was tried for a charge punishable under Section 20 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (for short, 'NDPS Act'). The Sessions Judge, Shimla by judgment dated 30.06.2003 acquitted the accused by recording a finding that the case of prosecution was not free from doubt and there were many infirmities in the case of the prosecution to hold that the accused was found to be in possession of charas, as alleged by the prosecution.
(3.)The case as put forth by the prosecution, briefly stated, is as under:
On 18.06.2001 the Intelligence Officer in the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Chandigarh, by name - R.P. Singh (PW-4) was proceeding to Theog from Shimla. He was travelling along with PW-3 -O.P. Bhatt and other officials. In the transit they stopped at the dhaba to have meals which was near the Nangala Devi Temple. When they ordered meals and tea and were waiting for the food to be served, the Intelligence Officer could smell the odour of charas. In the meanwhile, the Zonal Director of NCB, Chandigarh, by name - Rakesh Goyal, who was examined as PW-1 also reached the said dhaba. Then they have questioned the appellant-accused about the smell of charas and on such questioning he became nervous. As such there was increase of suspicion of the NCB officials. On asking the owner of the dhaba, he disclosed his name to be Jeet Ram and on further questioning he tried to run away. Then he was apprehended and taken to the counter of the dhaba. Just below the counter of the dhaba a gunny bag was found. When asked, appellant has replied - there is nothing in it. Then notice under Section 50 of the NDPS Act was given to the accused and appellant has consented to search the same by the NCB officials. Thereafter the bag was searched and the officers have found 13 Kg. of charas. The charas was divided into two portions of 61/2 Kg. each and two packets were made which were marked as 'X' and 'Y' respectively. From each of these packets, two samples of 25 grams were drawn. The samples drawn from the packet - Mark 'X' - were marked as 'X1' and 'X2' and the samples drawn from packet - Mark 'Y' - were marked as 'Y1' and 'Y2'. Thereafter all the four samples were sealed in a polythene bag by heat sealing process and were put in paper envelopes and sealed with paper seals, signed by NCB officials as well as the appellant-accused Jeet Ram. On each sample seal no.6 of NCB was affixed on all the four corners and the bulk charas in packets 'X' and 'Y' was sealed in paper parcels with six seals each. The seals were handed over to PW-1 and the all the samples and the parcels were signed by NCB officials and accused. Further, in the statement recorded as contemplated under Section 67 of the NDPS Act, the appellant has admitted that for various reasons he was indulged in the trade of charas to increase his income. Thereafter a Panchnama was drawn which was signed by the appellant and he was arrested on 19.06.2001. The two samples of 'X1' and 'Y1' along with a letter were sent through PW-2 Hayat Singh to Chemical Analyst for analysis, who has vide his report opined that both the samples were of charas. On the said basis, the appellant-accused was charged and challaned for the offence under Section 20 of the NDPS Act.
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