State vs B Ramu 2024 INSC 114 :: [2024] 2 S.C.R. 357 – S 37 NDPS – Bail

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 ; Section 37 – For entertaining a prayer for bail in a case involving recovery of commercial quantity of narcotic drug or psychotropic substance, the Court would have to mandatorily record the satisfaction in terms of the rider contained in Section 37 of the NDPS Act. – In the event, the Public Prosecutor opposes the prayer for bail either regular or anticipatory, as the case may be, the Court would have to record a satisfaction that there are grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of the offence alleged and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. (Para 8-12)

Summary: HC granted anticipatory bail to an accused in NDPS Case on the condition that the appellant would deposit a sum of Rs. 30,000/­ to the credit of the registered Tamil Nadu Advocate Clerk Association, Chennai along with various other conditions – Setting aside the order, the SC observed: In case of recovery of such a huge quantity of narcotic substance, the Courts should be slow in granting even regular bail to the accused what to talk of anticipatory bail more so when the accused is alleged to be having criminal antecedents – The condition so imposed by the High Court is totally alien to the principles governing bail jurisprudence and is nothing short of perversity – The fact that after investigation, the charge­sheet has been filed against the accused along with other accused persons, fortifies the plea of the State counsel that the Court could not have recorded a satisfaction that the accused was prima facie not guilty of the offences alleged. As a consequence, the impugned order is cryptic and perverse on the face of the record and cannot be sustained.

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