Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Gita Mittal, CJ and Tashi Rabstan, J., ordered for presentation of report and gave directions to the State Government in regard to drug de-addiction policy. 

The Court ordered the respondents to  place, before the next date of hearing, the status report and the timeline within which the Narcotics Division and the Forensic Science Laboratories would be set up and also that the steps for effecting the recruitment to the necessary posts should be completed. 

It asked for details of the intake capacity of De-addiction and Rehabilitation Centers at nine places in the State in the context of number of persons needing assistance and ordered to take a view on the sufficiency. 

The Court found that there was not a single De-addiction and Rehabilitation Centre in Leh and Ladakh region of the State. The respondents were directed to examine this issue urgently and inform the Court of the necessary steps.

A report regarding whether these centers are really functioning as De-addiction and Rehabilitation Centers was sought. 

The Court also stated that construction of adequate storage facilities for drugs and psychotropic substances which were seized by the police was not available. It directed the State Government to examine this issue and make available alternative land for construction of the storage facilities of the seized material. [Atharv Mahajan v. State, 2018 SCC OnLine J&K 1016, decided on 26-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sunil Thomas, J. refused enlargement on bail of a person accused of transacting commercial quantity of the drug.

Applicant herein was caught purchasing 10.202 kilograms of hashish oil and was arrested for committing offences punishable under Sections 20(b)(ii)(C) and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. He filed an application for granting bail. At the same time, the prosecution filed an application for extension of remand period. Pending consideration of the application for extension of remand period, petitioner’s bail application was adjourned. After the extension was granted, his bail application was dismissed. Aggrieved thereby, the present bail application was filed challenging the lower court’s order on the basis of the decision in Rambeer Shokeen v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 8504.

The Court opined that petitioner’s contention had become redundant since extension for his remand, granted by the lower court, had taken effect from the date of expiry of the first statutory period. In view thereof and in view of serious nature of allegations attributed against the petitioner of having transacted commercial quantity of the drug, his application was dismissed.[Vinish Kumar v. State of Kerala,2018 SCC OnLine Ker 5092, decided on 06-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of P. Ubaid, J. declared that re-testing cannot be allowed if the first testing clearly defined as to the composition of the item.

The petitioner was detected of having the possession of opium after analyzing the packets he had in possession. Additionally, the sealed packets were again produced in Court for reanalyzing the percentage of ‘morphine’ contained in the ‘opium’.

The petitioner here cited a decision of the Supreme Court in Thana Singh v. Central Bureau of Narcotics, (2013) 2 SCC 603, where the Supreme Court held that retesting in cases like this cannot be allowed. He also stated that a total of twelve samples were collected and produced in Court. Had the six of the samples been retained then the second analysis could have been justified. But in this case, the request for collection of six new samples from the sealed properties was clearly defined as re-testing.

The Court here questioned the respondents as to why they need to re-test when the sample initially stood identified as opium and stated the request to be wrongly entertained by the lower court. Accordingly, the revision petition was allowed.[P. Abdulkhader v. State of Kerala,2018 SCC OnLine Ker 4657, Order dated 16-01-2018]