SURESH CHANDRA Vs. STATE OF UTTARANCHAL
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND (AT: NAINITAL)
STATE OF UTTARANCHAL
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(1.) This appeal is directed against the judgment and order dated 20.11.2006, passed by learned Special Judge, Uttarkashi in Special Sessions trial No. 03 of 2006, whereby accused / appellant Suresh Chandra was convicted under Section 8 read with Section 20(b)(ii)(C) of the Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (hereinafter referred as NDPS Act). The accused / appellant was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of 15 years and also to pay a fine of Rs. 1,50,000/-. The trial court further directed that in default of non-payment of fine, the defaulter convict shall further undergo imprisonment for a period of four years.
(2.) Prosecution story, in brief, is that on receiving the instructions from District Excise Officer, Uttarkashi, a team of officials which included Chait Singh Nath, Naib Tehsildar Purola; Chandra Singh Imlal, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Purola and other officials namely, Ranvir Singh Panwar, Excise Inspector; Jayendra Singh Rana, Patwari Mori; Jabar Singh Aswal, Patwari Gurari; Dinesh Singh Rawat and Dharampal Singh, Constables (Excise) proceeded from Purola to Mori for checking of smuggled contrabands during Special Enforcement Drive commenced from 20.10.2005 to 31.10.2005. On 24.10.2005, at 04:30 P. M. on instructions of Mr. C. S. Imlal, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Purola on Purola-Mori Motor Road, a bus bearing registration no. U. A. 10 / 4755, which was coming from Purola, was stopped one kilometer ahead of Karshadi Bazar. A search was made of the passengers boarding the bus and their belongings in the presence of Sub Divisional Magistrate, Purola. During search a green polythene containing 4 Kg. black brown coloured cylindrical pipe shaped charas kept in skyblue bag was recovered from the possession of a passenger sitting on the three seater row opposite to door of the bus. On smelling, the article recovered was found to be charas, which the accused himself conceded as charas.
The accused accepted his guilt. On being asked, the accused told that his name was Suresh Chandra. The bag recovered from the possession of the accused was sealed in a white cloth. Two samples of 100 gm. each of the recovered contraband were taken for examination and sealed separately in presence of the witnesses. The contraband was also sealed in a white cloth and sample seal was prepared. Recovery memo (Ext. Ka-1) was prepared in the presence of the witnesses. No independent witness, from amongst the passengers of the bus, came forward to append his signatures on the recovery memo. Therefore, the signatures of members of the raiding party were obtained on recovery memo and a copy of the same was given to the accused, a receipt whereof was taken from him. Accused / appellant Suresh Chandra was arrested and sent to police custody. The recovered article was sent for chemical examination and the samples were found containing the charas. The information relating to arrest of the accused was given to his family members.
A case crime no. 03 of 2005 in respect of offence punishable under Section 8 / 20 of NDPS Act and Section 60(D) of Excise Act was registered at Patwari Chowki Mori against the accused Suresh Chandra.
The Investigating Officer inspected the site, prepared site plan (Ext. Ka-6), interrogated the witnesses and received chemical examination report (Ext. Ka-8) from the Forensic Science Laboratory. After completion of investigation, the Investigating Officer submitted charge sheet (Ext. Ka-7) against the accused for his trial in respect of offence punishable under Section 8 read with Section 20 of the NDPS Act.
(3.) The trial court after hearing the parties on 01.03.2006, framed charge of offence punishable under Section 8 read with Section 20(b)(ii)(C) of the NDPS Act against the accused / appellant (which was in respect of 4 Kg. charas) but subsequently framed amended charge on 30.08.2006 as regards offence punishable under Section 8 read with Section 20(b)(ii)(C) of the aforesaid Act in respect of the exact quantity of charas (i. e. 4 Kg. 200 gms. ) recovered from him. The accused / appellant pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried.;
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