Read Order: Gautam v. State of Haryana
Chandigarh, June 9, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has recently granted bail to two persons accused in an FIR registered under Sections 22(a) (c) and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, Act, 1985 (“NDPS Act”), Section 188 IPC and Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, considering the facts that they were implicated on the disclosure statement of an accused who himself was named in the disclosure statement of other accused persons from whom recovery of non-commercial quantity of contraband was effected.
The Bench of Justice Vikas Bahl also took into consideration the fact that the petitioners were in custody since August 2021 and the Trial was likely to take time.
In this case, the Court was dealing with two petitions filed under Sections 439 Cr.P.C. read with Section 482 Cr.P.C. for grant of regular bail to the petitioners in respect of the afore-said FIR.
Essentially, the petitioners’ counsel argued that originally two accused persons who were arrested on the recovery of a non-commercial quantity of contraband named one Tarun on whose disclosure statement the present petitioners were implicated as accused in this case. It was further the Counsel’s case that no recovery was effected from the present petitioners who were in custody since August 2021. Also, the Counsel added that the challan was already presented and there were 14 prosecution witnesses, none of whom were examined thus the trial was likely to take time.
On the contrary, the State counsel opposed the present petition for regular bail while submitting that petitioner Gautam was involved in four other cases while petitioner Rahul was involved in three other cases and thus, they were habitual offenders.
The Counsel for the petitioners relied upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in “Maulana Mohd. Amir Rashadi vs. State of U.P. and another”, reported as 2012 (2) SCC 382 to contend that the facts and circumstances of the present case are to be seen while deciding a bail application and the bail application of the petitioner cannot be rejected solely on the ground that the petitioner was involved in other cases.
Reliance was also placed upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of “Tofan Singh v. State of Tamil Nadu” reported as 2021(4) SCC 1; “Mewa Singh v. State of Punjab” and “Daljit Singh v. State of Haryana”, to contend that merely on the basis of the disclosure statement of the co-accused, the petitioner should not be denied the concession of bail.
With respect to the facts of the case, the Court observed that the petitioners were in custody since August 2021; the challan in the present case was already presented and there are 14 prosecution witnesses none of them was examined. Thus, the Court opined that the trial was likely to take time and neither any recovery was effected from the present petitioners nor the petitioners were named in the FIR.
Also, (as contended by the petitioners’ counsel), the Court observed that the recovery was effected from Sonu and Lakhan and on the basis of their disclosure statements, one Tarun was implicated and not the petitioners. Thus, it was observed that on the basis of the disclosure statement of Tarun, the petitioners were implicated in the present case and even after the same, no recovery was effected from them.
Therefore, keeping in view the above said facts and circumstances, both the petitions were allowed and the petitioners were ordered to be released on bail on their furnishing bail / surety bonds to the satisfaction of the concerned trial Court/ Duty Magistrate and subject to them not being required in any other case.