The Himachal Pradesh High Court while dismissing an application for anticipatory bail, highlighted that the drug menace has attained serious proportion and has a serious invasion in the social structure that needs to be curbed with heavy hands.

The Bench of Justice Satyen Vaidya said that “The drug menace has attained serious proportion. All the accused persons apprehended in the car are in the age group of 23 to 27 years. Even the adolscents have not been spared. Besides being a law and order problem, it has become a serious social issue. Such a serious invasion in the social structure needs to be curbed with heavy hands and for such purpose, police needs to have the proper access to the accused, may be by way of custodial interrogation in appropriate cases.”

Advocate Prashant Sharma appeared for the petitioner and Senior Additional Attorney General I.N. Mehta appeared for the respondent- State.

In this case, FIR under Sections 21, 25, and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act (Act) was registered against the petitioner. Around 15.13 grams of chitta/heroine, which was sold by the petitioner, was recovered from a car. The car was being plied without any registration number. The three occupants of the car were also arrested.

The petitioner had approached the High Court for the grant of anticipatory bail on the ground that he was innocent and was not connected with the crime in question.

The Court noted that the investigating agency was able to lay hands on some material, which prima facie established a link between the occupants of the car apprehended with chitta/heroine and the petitioner. Moreover, 38 criminal cases were pending against the petitioner, and out of these five cases were under the NDPS Act only, and other serious offences included attempt to murder, rape.

Considering that the prima-facie material on record suggested some link between the petitioner and other co-accused, the Court observed that the petitioner was aged around 44 years and there was an age gap between him and the other co-accused and this link had to be probed.

Therefore, the Court said that custodial interrogation was required as certain recoveries were to be effected from the petitioner, and the supply chain of contraband was to be unearthed.

Accordingly, the petition was dismissed.

Cause Title- Anil Kumar v. State of HP

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