Narcotics drugs cases cannot be denied bail after 180 days

Justice S Tamilselvan, granting bail to two accused yesterday, said bail could be denied upto a year under Section 36(A)(4) of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) only if the PP had himself filed the report, explaining the reasons for extending judicial remand beyond 180 days.

"A report filed by the Investigating Officer and counter signed by the Public Prosecutor along with word ‘submitted' cannot be construed as a report of the prosecutor. Further in the present case, the report also does not contain compelling reasons for detaining the accused beyond 180 days," he said.

Justice S Tamilselvan said the Code of Criminal Procedure, states that a person accused of an offence for a maximum sentence of below 10 years can be enlarged on bail after 90 days if police fail to file a chargesheet within that period.

However,considering the gravity of the offence of possessing commercial quantity of narcotic substances, statutory bail period in those cases had been extended upto 180 days.
In the present case, the IO had filed a report before the special court of NDPS cases in Pudukottai,objecting to release of the two accused, countersigned by a local PP.
Accepting it, the Special court had denied bail.Hence the petitioners filed a criminal revision petition at the High Court bench here.

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