Courts Update Counsel’s inability to understand proceeding in bail hearing amuses...

Counsel’s inability to understand proceeding in bail hearing amuses Supreme Court bench

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New Delhi Sept 20(ILNS): The Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramana and comprising of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli was plea under Section 438 Cr.P.C for the grant of anticipatory bail to the petitioner in respect of charges under Section 20 (b) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

Justice Hima Kohli enquired the counsel appearing for the petitioner about the grounds mentioned in the plea which say that “The petitioner is willing to co-operate with the investigating agency.” And asked, “if your client is not cooperating with the investigating agency then why should we grant anticipatory bail?”

To which the counsel replied that, “No Milords, my client is co-operating with the clients.”

Then, the bench asked why have you written in the plea that, “Petitioner will co-operate”

To which the counsel replied that it happened by mistake.

Then Chief Justice NV Ramana led the bench granted prayers mentioned in the plea and said, “Issue notice, No Coercive action, meanwhile the petitioner has to co-operate with the investigating agency.”

To which the counsel appeared confused and continued to stare at the bench.

Then Justice Hima Kohli said to CJI Ramana: “He hasn’t understood”

Thereafter, CJI said to the council, “Yes, yes, to your case.”

The council replied, “Much obliged Milords!”

Bench laughed and remarked to him “Cartoon!”

The petition was filed in the Supreme Court aggrieved by the order passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, wherein the anticipatory bail application was rejected.

Learned counsel for the petitioner argued in the High Court that the petitioner has been roped in the present case on the basis of the statement of the co-accused, from whom, the alleged recovery was done. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner has wrongly been roped in the present case as the petitioner is innocent and no banned substance was ever sold by the petitioner to the co-accused, which was recovered from the said co-accused.

Learned counsel for the State submitted that recovery of 520 grams and 40 milligrams of the contraband was done from co-accused who has named the petitioner by stating that the said contraband was purchased by him from the petitioner and therefore, the custodial interrogation of the petitioner is necessary to unearth the truth from where the petitioner was getting the contraband and who were the other recipients, to whom the petitioner was selling the same.

The High Court was of the view that for effective interrogation, especially for the violation of the NDPS Act, custodial interrogation is necessary. The lives of the citizens are being destroyed due to the selling of these banned substances. And thus, no ground is made out to grant the petitioner the benefit of anticipatory bail./ILNS/AV/SNG

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