GURMAIL SINGH Vs. STATE OF PUNJAB
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
STATE OF PUNJAB
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Banerjee, J. -
(1.)In Sanjay Dutt vs. State through C.B.I. Bombay (II) (1994) 5 SCC 410 a Constitution Bench of this Court while according a true conspectus of Section 5 of the Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 came to a conclusion that the ingredients of the offence punishable under Section 5 of the Act are :
(i) Possession of any specified arms and ammunition, etc.;
(ii) Unauthorisedly; and
(iii) in a notified area.
(2.)In the event of availability of the above mentioned three ingredients of the offence and the same are proved, then and in that event the accused shall, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine. The expression "possession " in Section 5 has been stated to mean in Sanjay Dutt (supra) a conscious possession introducing thereby involvement of a mental element i.e. conscious possession and not mere custody without awareness of the nature of such possession and as regards meaning of the word 'unauthorised' in the context means and implies without any authority of law.
(3.)Incidently, the TADA Act cannot but be said to be a drastic piece of legislation and the statutory intent is clear enough to indicate that the same has been introduced in the Statute Book for the purpose of combating the growing menace of terrorism in different parts of the country. Needless to state that in the normal course of events the provisions ought not to be resorted to unless the felt necessity of the situation definitely prompts the authority concerned to invoke the same.
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