The Supreme has reaffirmed that neutral substance quantity cannot be ignored while labelling the quantity of contraband recovered as "small" or "commercial" quantity.

The Bench of Justice SK Kaul and Justice Abhay S. Oka was adjudicating upon the issue that arose out of the quantity of contraband recovered i.e., whether it should be labelled as a small quantity or commercial quantity depending on the percentage of diacetylmorphine.

The High Court had opined that the purity of the total content would have to be examined on the basis of the chemical analysis report that was proved vide the testimony of PW-2 in the case. It was not possible to come to the conclusion that contraband articles seized would come under one or the other category.

The High Court had upheld the case of conviction but the sentence imposed, treating the quantity of the contraband to be small, was of six months and since the parties had already undergone a sentence for more than 3 and a half years it was restricted to the period undergone.

AOR Gurmeet Singh Makker appeared for the Appellant while AOR E. M. S. Anam appeared for the Respondent before the Apex Court.

The Bench noted that the SLP preferred by the State remained pending on account of the question of law being examined.

The Court further noted, "There is no cavil to the issue that the judicial pronouncement now settles the issue in "Hira Singh & Anr. Vs. Union of India & Anr." reported as 2020 SCC Online SC 382 opining that the decision of this Court relied upon in the impugned judgment- "E. Micheal Raj V. Intelligence Officer, Narcotic Control Bureau, (2008) 5 SCC 161" is no more good law and in determining as to what is the quantity, the neutral substance quantity is not be ignored."

The Bench accordingly allowed the appeal and upheld the sentence as imposed by the Trial Court of 10 years.

Cause Title - Intelligence Officer, Thiruvananthapuram v. Naushad K.K. & Ors.

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