"Nothing on record to show he may have committed offence of drug trafficking": Calcutta High Court grants bail to BJP leader in NDPS case

  • Gargi Chatterjee
  • 05:29 PM, 25 Nov 2021

The Calcutta High Court division bench comprising justices Arijit Banerjee and B Pattanayak granted bail to BJP leader Rakesh Singh, who was arrested by the Kolkata police in connection with a drug-related case.

The Kolkata Police arrested Rakesh Singh on February 23 in connection with his alleged involvement in a drug recovery case.

While granting bail the Court noted that nothing was recovered from the person of the petitioner or any place over which the petitioner had exclusive control. However, the Court also noted that under Section 37 of NDPS Act, mere non-recovery of contraband from a person’s possession may not dilute the rigours. Further that only 76 gms of cocaine was found the rigours of Section 37 of the NDPS Act relating to grant of bail according to Sami Ullaha v. Superintendent, Narcotic Central Bureau.

The Court further noted that, “there cannot be any doubt that persons indulging in illegal trafficking in contraband drugs and psychotropic substances must be dealt with, with iron hands. The activities of such persons have a widespread deleterious effect on the society at large. Countless members of the society, often of tender age, fall prey to the heinous and nefarious activities of drug peddlers.”

 However, in the present case, the Court is of view that Mr. Singh “may not have committed the offence that he is charged with. Further, considering the past history of the petitioner which we have adverted to above, there is nothing on record to suggest that he is likely to commit an offence under the NDPS Act while on bail.”

Referring to the charge under Section 27A of the NDPS Act i.e. financing illicit trafficking and harboring offenders levelled against Singh, the Bench opined that prima facie there is no material evidence to support the charge. It was held further that a solitary transaction would not attract the charge under Section 27A of the NDPS Act.

"In our view, being involved in one solitary transaction concerning contraband items will not amount to financing illicit traffic in narcotics. The word "trafficking" connotes continuous flow. There has to be some degree of continuity and regularity in drug dealing before a person can be said to be trafficking in drugs”

The Bench further harped on the fact that Mr. Singh has no history of the petitioner dealing in narcotics in contravention of the provisions of the NDPS Act. Prima facie there is nothing to show that the petitioner has previously violated any of the provisions of the NDPS Act, it was stated further.

Thus, the Court granted bail for an amount of Rs. 50,000 to be by Mr. Singh.

Rakesh Singh v. State of West Bengal