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An Analysis On Justification And Limitations For Granting Bail IN NDPS Case Through The Lens Of Human Rights Aspect

Judicial interim release (bail) is an order of release by the Court. Bail allows a person who is accused of one or more crimes to be out of custody on various conditions while they await trial or other resolution on their matter before the Court.

The dictionary meaning of bail is:
The temporary release of an accused person awaiting trial, sometimes on condition that a sum of money is lodged to guarantee their appearance in court.

A regular bail can be granted to a person who has been already arrested and kept in police custody. A person can file a bail application for regular bail under Section 437 and 439 of the Crpc. An interim bail is bail granted for a short period of time. Interim bail is granted to an accused before the hearing for the grant of regular bail or anticipatory bail. A person who discerns that he may be arrested by the police for a non-bailable offence can file an application for anticipatory bail.

It is like an advance bail obtained under Section 438 of the CrPC. A bail under Section 438, Crpc is a bail before arrest and a person cannot be arrested by the police if the anticipatory bail has been granted by the court. Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 has been enacted to consolidate and amend the laws relating to narcotic drugs, to make stringent provisions for the control and regulation of operations relating to Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

The act prohibits the production, manufacturing, cultivation, possession, sale, transportation, purchasing and consumption of any Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. In this article, I would like to discuss the justifications and limitations for granting bail in NDPS cases. Also, I would like to throw light on the human rights aspects related to the granting of bail in NDPS cases.

During the passage of time and the development in the field of illicit drugs traffic and drug abuse, many deficiencies in the existing laws have come to notice with provisions regarding Bail under section 37 of NDPS Act, 1985. The concept of bail is a necessary implication of Article 21 enshrined in the Constitution of India. In this article, the right to privacy of the accused charged under NDPS is also discussed.

Introduction:
Indian law stresses the principles of presumption of innocence. The principle embodies freedom from arbitrary detention and serves as a bulwark against punishment before conviction. More importantly, it prevents the state from successfully employing its vast resources to cause greater damage to an un-convicted accused than he/she can inflict on society. While considering bail applications of the accused, courts are required to balance considerations of personal liberty with the public interest.

There are, therefore, principally two common types of bail; 1. When the defendant is bailed without charge, the police will allow the defendant to leave the police station, usually under certain restrictions or conditions, and the defendant will be given a bail return date to return to the police station. During the period in which the defendant is on bail, the police will carry out their investigations and then decide if the defendant will be charged when he returns for the bail return date.

At this point, the defendant will either be charged or be told that no further action is to be taken. It has, however, become more common for police officers to bail the defendant again, once he returns for the bail return date, and continue investigations. Increasingly, therefore, a defendant can be on pre-charge bail for a number of months before discovering if they are to be charged. 2. A defendant may be bailed once he has been charged with an offence.

If the police are confident, the defendant will show up at court and not be a threat to the public in the meantime, they will generally grant bail, subject to certain conditions, and the defendant will be bailed until the court hearing date. When the defendant has been charged, the police have far greater powers to refuse bail.

However, the defendant has not at this stage, been found guilty of anything and so cannot simply be imprisoned until a court hearing unless they pose a danger to a member of the public or there is a real concern the defendant will not show up for the court hearing.

Justifications For Bail:
The justification for the process of bail is essentially a practical one, keeping in mind the principles of justice. In terms of pre-charge bail, it is important that the police are given time to investigate the criminal allegations and then have the opportunity to try to ensure the defendant returns to the police station so they can question them after the investigations.

In regard to post-charge bail, it is clearly important that a defendant is not allowed to go on the run and miss the court hearing or try to intimidate certain witnesses and yet if there is a little danger of this and the defendant has not yet been proven guilty, he should be released at least temporarily.

The NDPS act also provides for bail under section 37 of the act. Offences punishable under this Act related to drugs are described as cognizable and non-bailable Usually there is no bail for such offences although, under special considerations as mentioned in the act, bail can be given.

Section 37. Offences to be cognizable and non-bailable:
  1. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974),
    1. every offence punishable under this Act shall be cognizable;
    2.  no person accused of an offence punishable for 3 [offences under section 19 or section 24 or section 27A and also for offences involving commercial quantity] shall be released on bail or on his own bond unless:
      1. the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release, and
      2. where the Public Prosecutor opposes the application, the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.
  2. The limitations on granting of bail specified in clause (b) of sub-section (1) are in addition to the limitations under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or any other law for the time being in force on granting of bail.

The criminal procedure code is not applicable where any different procedure has been prescribed by any law. Since the NDPS act prescribes a separate provision for bail, the general provisions of bail under the Crpc will not be applicable. The act has been enacted with a view to making stringent provisions for the control and regulation of the operations relating to NDPS.

It cannot be held that the High Court�s power to grant bail under section 439 of the Crpc are not subject to limitations mentioned under section 37 of the NDPS act. For the offences punishable under section 37 of the NDPS Act, the discretionary power given to the court to order to release of a person is more rigorous and it is to be used very cautiously.

Release under the NDPS Act is based on conditions mentioned in section 37 of the act apart from other factors, including the paramount consideration like in case of release whether the accused will flee from justice or will he make an attempt to tamper with the prosecution evidence. The discretionary powers are conferred under section. 439 of Crpc is subject to the limitations imposed under section 37 of the NDPS Act.

Considerations For Granting Bail Under NDPS Act:

Before granting bail, the court is called upon to satisfy itself that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is innocent of the offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail, the allegations of the fact, the police report have to be closely examined before recording a finding as to whether the conditions given under the said section, are fulfilled or not.

Ordinarily, on a bare reading of these provisions, it would look as if the court is to adopt a negative approach and to decline the bail but when the legislature has required the court to record a finding of its satisfaction of certain facts, the duty cast on the court is in positive terms. Grant of bail is a rule and its rejection is an exception.

Limitations To Grant Bail:

Section 37(1)(b) of the NDPS Act, 1985 imposes limitations on granting bail in addition to those provided under the code. The two limitations are:
  1. An opportunity for the public prosecutor to oppose the bail application and
  2. Satisfaction of the court that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.
The limitations on granting bail come in only when the question of granting bail arises on merits. Apart from the grant of opportunity to the public prosecutor, the other twin conditions which really have relevance so far the present accused- respondent is concerned, are:
  1. the satisfaction of the court that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of the alleged offences and
  2. he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.

The conditions are cumulative and not alternative. The satisfaction contemplated regarding the accused being not guilty has to be based on reasonable grounds. The expression "reasonable grounds" means something more than prima facie grounds. It contemplates substantial probable causes for believing that the accused is not guilty of the alleged offence.

The reasonable belief contemplated in the provision requires the existence of such facts and circumstances as are sufficient in themselves to justify satisfaction that the accused is not guilty of the alleged offence and he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.

This nature of embargo seems to have been envisaged keeping in view the deleterious nature of the offence, necessitates of public interest and the normal tendencies of the persons involved in such network to pursue their activities with greater vigour and make hay when at large.

Grounds For Cancellation Of Bail:

  1. Where the accused misuses his liberty by indulging in similar criminal activity.
  2. Interferes with the course of the investigation.
  3. Attempts to tamper with evidence or witnesses
  4. Likelihood of fleeing


Interpretation Of Section 37 Of The NDPS Act, 1985:

Section 37 of The NDPS Act in specific deals with the classification of the offences contained within the act and provides for cases where bail can be granted to the accused. The section is laid down as:
  1. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974),
    1. every offence punishable under this Act shall be cognizable
    2. no person accused of an offence punishable for 3 [offences under section 19 or section 24 or section 27A and also for offences involving commercial quantity] shall be released on bail or on his own bond unless:
      1. the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release, and
      2. where the Public Prosecutor opposes the application, the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.
         
  2. The limitations on granting of bail specified in clause (b) of sub-section (1) are in addition to the limitations under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or any other law for the time being in force on granting of bail.
     
The section firstly states that every act given under the NDPS act is a cognizable one. A Cognizable Offence is defined under Section 2(c) of The Criminal Procedure Code is defined as an offence in which a police officer may arrest without an arrest warrant, in accordance with the First Schedule of the code. This is to mean that the piece of legislature treats the offences under the act with a great deal of seriousness and gravity.

Secondly, the section in its head goes on to state that offences generally are of non-bailable nature which is subject to the limitations and exceptions prescribed under Section 37 of NDPS Act and The Criminal Procedure Code. But in the case of Mathew vs the State of Kerala, Kerala High Court observed that section 37 of the NDPS Act mentions the expression "Non-Bailable, but it cannot be said that all the offences under the Act are Not Bailable.

Since the Criminal Procedure Code has also provided with granting of bail in non-bailable offences under Section 437 of the code, there has been some discussion as to the clash and overlapping of powers under Section 437 of the criminal code and section 37 of NDPS Act.

Under Section 437 of the Code, the person is not to be released on bail "if there appear reasonable grounds for believing that he has been guilty of an offence..." while according to Section 37 of the N.D.P.S. Act, the accused shall not be released on bail unless "the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence...."

The Supreme Court in the case of Union Of India vs. Thamisharasi And Ors clarified the stand between the said sections as, "The limitation on the power to release on bail in Section 437 Cr. P.C. is in the nature of a restriction on that power, if reasonable grounds exist for the belief that the accused is guilty.

On the other hand, the limitation on this power in Section 37 of the N.D.P.S. The act is in the nature of a condition precedent for the exercise of that power, so that, the accused shall not be released on bail unless the Court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that he is not guilty.

Under Section 437 Cr. P.C., it is for the prosecution to show the existence of reasonable grounds to support the belief in the guilt of the accused to attract the restriction on the power to grant bail; but under Section 37 N.D.P.S. Act, it is the accused who must show the existence of grounds for the belief that he is not guilty, to satisfy the condition precedent and lift the embargo on the power to grant bail. This appears to be the distinction between the two provisions which makes Section 37 of the N.D.P.S. Act more stringent."

Further ahead in Section 37(1)(b) of the act, a person accused of any offence punishable under Section 19 and Section 24 or Section 27A of the act involving Commercial Quantity shall not be granted bail unless the conditions specified therein aren�t fulfilled. The apex court deliberating on Section 37 of the act in the recent case of State of Kerala v. Rajesh observed that The scheme of Section 37 reveals that the exercise of power to grant bail is not only subject to the limitations contained under Section 439 of the Cr. P.C but is also subject to the limitation placed by Section 37 which commences with non obstante clause.

The operative part of the said section is in the negative form prescribing the enlargement of bail to any person accused of commission of an offence under the Act unless twin conditions are satisfied. The first condition is that the prosecution must be given an opportunity to oppose the application, and the second is that the Court must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence. If either of these two conditions is not satisfied, the ban for granting bail operates.

With a reading of Section 37(1)(b) of the act, the term Commercial Quantity needs to be understood to truly understand the essence of the said provision. The term commercial quantity is defined under the act itself where commercial quantity, in relation to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, means any quantity greater than the quantity specified by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette.

Also, additionally, the term �small quantity also needs to be understood with reference to Section 37 of the act. Small quantity, in relation to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, means any quantity lesser than the quantity specified by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette. Therefore, any offence under the act involving the commercial quantity of narcotics would by default be a non-bailable offence under his act which is subject to conditions under Section 37.

While offences involving a small number of narcotic drugs would be cognizable but bailable offences subject to limitations under Cr. P.C and The NDPS Act. The power to grant bail under any of the provisions of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is necessarily subject to the conditions mentioned in Section 37 of the Act in a relevant case, unless the granting of bail is automatic or by default, for instance, when the complaint is not filed within the maximum period of custody permitted during the investigation.

Protection Of Personal Liberty And Law Of Bail:

The philosophy behind personal liberty and the law of bails: Personal liberty is a priceless treasure for a human being. It is founded on the bedrock of constitutional rights and accentuated further on human rights principles. It is basically a natural right. In fact, some regard it as the grammar of life. No one would like to lose his liberty or barter it for all the wealth of the world. People for centuries have fought for liberty, for the absence of liberty causes a sense of emptiness.

The sanctity of liberty is the fulcrum of any civilized society. It is a cardinal value on which the civilization rests. It cannot be allowed to be paralyzed and immobilized. Deprivation of liberty of a person has an enormous impact on his mind as well as body. A democratic body polity that is wedded to rule of law anxiously guards liberty. But, a pregnant and significant one, the liberty of an individual is not absolute.

The Society by its collective wisdom through the process of law can withdraw the liberty that it has sanctioned to an individual when an individual becomes a danger to the collective and to the societal order. Accent on individual liberty cannot be pyramided to that extent which would bring chaos and anarchy to a society. A society expects responsibility and accountability from the member, and it desires that the citizens should obey the law, respecting it as a cherished social norm.

No individual can make an attempt to create a concavity in the stem of the social stream. It is impermissible. Therefore, when an individual behaves in a disharmonious manner ushering in the disorderly thing which the society disapproves of, the legal consequences are bound to follow. At that stage, the court has a duty. It cannot abandon its sacrosanct obligation and pass an order at its own whim or caprice.

Personal Liberty As A Human Right:

Personal liberty� as �human right� under the universal declaration of human rights by the United Nations on December 10, 1948: Under Article 3 of the Charter of the universal declaration of human rights by the United Nations, the right to personal liberty of humans has been declared to be the human right. Article 3 of the said Declaration made by the United Nations on December 10, 1948, reads thus: " Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."

Personal Liberty As A Constitutional Right:

Article 21 of the Constitution of India: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. Meaning of 'Personal Liberty' under Article 21 of the Constitution: The expression 'personal liberty' in Article 21 of the Constitution is of the widest amplitude and it covers a variety of rights which go to constitute the personal liberty of a person and some of them have been raised to the status of distinct fundamental rights and given additional protection under Article 19 of the Constitution.

'Personal liberty' under Article 21 of the Constitution primarily means freedom from physical restraint of a person by incarceration or otherwise. The concept of "right to life and personal liberty" guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution includes the "right to live with dignity" and it does not mean mere animal-like existence of life.

Related Cases In Granting Of Bail In NDPS Cases:

Union of India vs. Shiv Shanker Kesar

Holding that bail may be cancelled if it has been granted without adhering to the parameters under Section 37 of the NDPS Act, the Court observed,

The expression used in Section 37(1)(b)(ii) is reasonable grounds. The expression means something more than prima facie grounds. It connotes substantial probable causes for believing that the accused is not guilty of the offence charged and this reasonable belief contemplated in turn points to the existence of such facts and circumstances as are sufficient in themselves to justify the recording of satisfaction that the accused is not guilty of the offence charged.

The word reasonable has in law the prima facie meaning of reasonable in regard to those circumstances of which the actor, called on to act reasonably, knows or ought to know. It is difficult to give an exact definition of the word reasonable.

The word reasonable signifies in accordance with reason. In the ultimate analysis it is a question of fact, whether a particular act is reasonable or not depends on the circumstances in a given situation. (See Municipal Corpn. of Greater Mumbai v. Kamla Mills Ltd. [(2003) 6 SCC 315]

The court while considering the application for bail with reference to Section 37 of the Act is not called upon to record a finding of not guilty. It is for the limited purpose essentially confined to the question of releasing the accused on bail that the court is called upon to see if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty and records its satisfaction about the existence of such grounds. But the court has not to consider the matter as if it is pronouncing a judgment of acquittal and recording a finding of not guilty."

Union of India vs. Prateek Shukla
Non-application of mind to the rival submissions and the seriousness of the allegations involving an offence under the NDPS Act by the High Court is grounds for cancellation of bail.

Prasanta Kumar Sarkar vs. Ashis Chatterjee
This Court does not, normally, interfere with an order passed by the High Court granting or rejecting bail to the accused. However, it is equally incumbent upon the High Court to exercise its discretion judiciously, cautiously and strictly in compliance with the basic principles laid down in a plethora of decisions of this Court on the point. It is well settled that, among other circumstances, the factors to be borne in mind while considering an application for bail are:
  • whether there is any prima facie or reasonable ground to believe that the accused had committed the offence;
  • nature and gravity of the accusation;
  • the severity of the punishment in the event of conviction;
  • danger of the accused absconding or fleeing, if released on bail;
  • character, behaviour, means, position and standing of the accused;
  • The likelihood of the offence being repeated;
  • reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being influenced; and
  • danger, of course, of justice being thwarted by grant of bail.


Mahipal vs. Rajesh Kumar @ Polla
The provision for an accused to be released on bail touches upon the liberty of an individual. It is for this reason that this Court does not ordinarily interfere with an order of the High Court granting bail. However, where the discretion of the High Court to grant bail has been exercised without the due application of mind or in contravention of the directions of this Court, such an order granting bail is liable to be set aside.

The Court is required to factor, amongst other things, a prima facie view that the accused had committed the offence, the nature and gravity of the offence and the likelihood of the accused obstructing the proceedings of the trial in any manner or evading the course of justice. The provision for being released on bail draws an appropriate balance between the public interest in the administration of justice and the protection of individual liberty pending adjudication of the case.

However, the grant of bail is to be secured within the bounds of the law and in compliance with the conditions laid down by this Court. It is for this reason that a court must balance numerous factors that guide the exercise of the discretionary power to grant bail on a case-by-case basis. Inherent in this determination is whether, on an analysis of the record, it appears that there is a prima facie or reasonable cause to believe that the accused had committed the crime. It is not relevant at this stage for the court to examine in detail the evidence on record to come to a conclusive finding.

Where a court considering an application for bail fails to consider relevant factors, an appellate court may justifiably set aside the order granting bail. An appellate court is thus required to consider whether the order granting bail suffers from a non-application of mind or is not borne out from a prima facie view of the evidence on record. It is thus necessary for this Court to assess whether, on the basis of the evidentiary record, there existed a prima facie or reasonable ground to believe that the accused had committed the crime, also taking into account the seriousness of the crime and the severity of the punishment."

A.N.Patel vs. the State of Gujarat
It has been repeatedly stressed that NDPS cases should be tried as early as possible because in such cases normally accused are not released on bail.

Sukhdev Singh vs Union Territory of Chandigarh
It is plain from the language of section 37(1)(b) that the court must adopt a negative attitude towards bail but turn positive firstly if it is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of an offence under the Act and secondly that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. Both these tests must be satisfied before bail can be granted.

Narcotics Control Bureau vs Dilip Pralhad Namade case
In this case, the respondent, Dilip Namade was granted bail by the Bombay High Court and was questioned by the Narcotics Control Bureau. The respondent is facing trial for alleged commission of offences punishable under section 29 read with sections 8�, 22,28 and 30 of the NDPS Act, 1985.

The allegations against the respondent Dilip Pralhad Namade were that he was involved in the manufacturing of Mandrax tablets and he is the person who has supplied the technical know-how of preparation for the tablets. In this case, the High Court seems to have completely overlooked the underlying object of section 37 and transgressed the limitations statutorily imposed in allowing bail. It did not take note of the confessional statement recorded under section 67 of the NDPS Act.

A bare reading of the impugned judgement shows that the scope and ambit of section 37 of the NDPS Act were not kept in view by the High Court. Mere non-compliance of the order passed for the supply of copies, if any, cannot as in the instant case entitle an accused to get bail notwithstanding prohibitions contained in section 37.

As a matter of fact, claiming privilege the Bureau had filed an application before the special judge clearly indicating that it would not be in the interest of justice to grant copies. The Bureau wanted to avoid the possibility of any tampering with the original documents and also further dissemination of the formula to the public and that is why inspection, as indicated above was offered.

Union of India vs. Thamisharasi & Others JT
This case is related to the Limitations to grant bail under section 37(1) (b) of The NDPS Act, 1985. In this case, the High Court seems to have completely overlooked the underlying object of section 37 and transgressed the limitations statutorily imposed in allowing bail. It did not take note of the confessional statement recorded under section 67 of the Act. A bare reading of the impugned judgement shows that the scope and ambit of section 37 of the NDPS Act were not kept in view by the High Court.

Mere non-compliance of the order passed for the supply of copies, if any, cannot as in the instant case entitle an accused to get bail notwithstanding prohibitions contained in section 37. This case is not one to which the exceptions provided in section 37 can be applied. The impugned judgement of the High Court granted bail to the respondent. The respondent-accused is directed to surrender to custody forthwith. The appeal is allowed.

Shailendra Kumar Gupta @ Shailu vs the State of U.P.
This application has been filed to release the applicant on bail in case of crime no. 574 of 2019, under Section 8/21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 19851, P.S. Shahpur, District Gorakhpur. An amount of 1 Kg 17 gm of charas is alleged to have been recovered from the possession of the applicant which is above the commercial quantity. On merits, no person shall be granted bail unless the two conditions are satisfied, that is, the satisfaction of the Court that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.

In the instant case, the material recovered from the appellant was opium. It was of a commercial quantity and could not have been for the personal consumption of the appellant. Thus the appellant being in possession of the contraband substance had violated the provisions of Section 8 of the NDPS Act and was rightly convicted under Section 18(b) of the NDPS Act. The instant case squarely falls under clause (a) of Section 2(xv) of the NDPS Act and clause (b) thereof is not attracted for the simple reason that the substance recovered was opium in the form of the coagulated juice of the opium poppy. It was not a mixture of opium with any other neutral substance.

There was no preparation to produce any new substance from the said coagulated juice. For the purpose of imposition of punishment if the quantity of morphine in opium is taken as a decisive factor, Entry 92 becomes totally redundant. The judgement of the Supreme Court in the matter of Sujit Tiwari19, which has been relied upon by the learned counsel for the applicant, cannot be of any assistance to the applicant as that case is based on its own unique facts, with the Supreme Court observing that the case of the appellant therein was totally different from the other accused.

There is no dilution of the principles for grant of bail in such cases. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, this bail application is rejected at this stage. It is clarified that the observations with regard to the case of the applicant, made in this order are strictly confined to the disposal of this bail application and must not be construed to have any reflection on the ultimate merits of his case.

Narcotics Control Bureau vs Aryan Khan
The Bombay High Court's order which granted bail to actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan in the drugs-on-cruise case was released on November 20, and it states that there was "no positive evidence of conspiracy" between him and the other two accused. Aryan Khan, along with co-accused Munmun Dhamecha and Arbaz Merchant, was arrested following a raid by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) at a cruise ship in Mumbai on October 7.

They were granted bail by the Bombay High Court on October, 29. The bail order, which has been released today, said there was "nothing objectionable found in the WhatsApp chats" of Khan to suggest there was a conspiracy between him, Merchant and Dhamecha. Only the fact that Khan, Merchant and Dhamecha were travelling in the same cruise cannot, by itself, be a foundation for the charge of conspiracy against them, the court said. The HC also noted that the NCB cannot rely on the alleged confessional statements made by the accused. "Such confessional statements are not having any binding effect in law" as per a 2013 Supreme Court judgment, it said.

The accused "were not even subjected to medical examination so as to determine whether, at the relevant time, they had consumed drugs," the court further observed. It is "difficult to infer" at this stage that Khan, Merchant and Dhamecha are involved in an offence of commercial quantity and there is "absence of material record" to infer they have hatched a criminal conspiracy, the bail order said. Notably, Khan and the other accused were released by the court on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each. The trio was ordered to surrender their passports before the special NDPS court and they shall not leave India without taking permission from the special court.

Conclusion And Suggestions:
Bail is the term used when a person charged with a criminal offence is released from police custody until he next appears in court or at the police station. Generally, in order to grant bail, the police will require certain security to be given or certain conditions met. Section 37(1)(b) of the NDPS Act, 1985 imposes limitations on granting bail in addition to those provided under the code.

The two limitations are an opportunity for the public prosecutor to oppose the bail application and satisfaction of the court that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. The limitations on granting bail come in only when the question of granting bail arises on merits. Apart from the grant of opportunity to the public prosecutor, the other twin conditions which really have relevance so far the present accused- respondent is concerned, are the satisfaction of the court that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of the alleged offences and he is not likely to commit an offence while on bail.

These are the justification and limitations for granting bail in the NDPS cases. With regards to the human rights aspect, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has specified the Right to Personal liberty in Article 3 which clearly focuses on the Right to bail also. It has been emphasized in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, Right to personal liberty and Right to privacy which clearly explains that a person is entitled to release on bail. Anyhow it is dependent on the gravity of the offence and the type of offence whether it is cognizable or non-cognizable offence, bailable or non-bailable offence.

Even though the bail procedure is clearly mentioned in the Criminal Procedure Code, sec 439, there are some justifications and limitations for granting bail in NDPS cases which have been specified in NDPS Act, 1985 in section 37. Besides the stringent provisions to curb illicit drug trafficking, due to the passage of time and increasing drug abuse, the number of NDPS cases has been increased.

Yet, we need more stringent provisions to curb illicit drug trafficking in India. Prevention is better than cure, we need to prevent the drug abuse offenders so that we can curb illicit drug trafficking. If there is no demand for drugs, there will be no supply of drugs also. In this way, we can completely eradicate illicit drug trafficking in India.


Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Sarala Jayakumar
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