The Delhi High Court has held that the weight of a neutral substance would not be ignored while determining whether a seized contraband drug is in small or commercial quantity.

The High Court's judgement came while answering questions referred to it by a single judge concerning a minuscule percentage of a narcotic substance.

A Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Amit Sharma answered in negative the question whether in cases specifically related to manufactured drug with a miniscule percentage of a narcotic substance, the weight of the neutral substance ought to be ignored while determining the nature of the quantity seized i.e. small, commercial or in between?

Advocate Amjad Khan appeared for the bail applicant while Advocate Parmod Bahuguna appeared for the Customs.

The Division Bench held, referring to the Judgment of the Apex Court in the matter of Hira Singh vs. Union of India that "If the contraband seized falls within the provisions of NDPS Act, the weight of the neutral substance would not be ignored while determining the nature of the quantity seized, whether small quantity, commercial quantity or in between".

While answering another question, the Bench held, "If the contraband recovered in a particular case is covered by Rule 52A of the NDPS Rules made under Section 9(1)(a)(va) of the NDPS Act, then violation of the said Rules would be punishable under the NDPS Act. In that situation, Note 4 of the S.O. 1055 (E) dated 19th October, 2001 would be applicable to such substances including cough syrup".

The issue came up during the hearing of the bail application of an accused in a case lodged under the provisions of the NDPS Act, in which one of the points that arose for consideration was whether the recovery of 110 bottles of cough syrup 'Phensedyl New' weighing 100 gms each and having a Codeine concentration of 0.17 per cent per bottle would be considered as 'commercial quantity' under the NDPS Act.

Cause Title: Mohd Ahsan v.Customs

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