Important Judgments

The Indian judiciary is an important pillar of criminal Justice System. Various Judgments pronounced on different aspects take form of case laws and become the guiding force for the law enforcement agencies. Eg. Recent landmark Judgment by the Hon’ble Apex Court in state of Kerala vs. Rajesh where the Hon’ble Court has cited twin condition for releasing accused on bail in NDPS matters has a bearing effect on enforcement of NDPS Act and prosecution.

Compilations of Landmark Judgements of Honourable Supreme Court and High Courts

(Under NDPS Acts, 1985)


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NCB vs. Mohit Agarwal

Supreme Court of India


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Booklet of compilation of Important Judgments by NCB

Booklet of compilation of Important Judgments of Hon'ble Supreme Court and High Court by NCB


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Kalu Sk. @ Kuran. - Calcutta High Court

The Hon'ble High Court has emphasized on videography during seizures


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Tofan Singh vs The State Of Tamil Nadu

Officers invested with powers to investigate offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act are ‘Police Officers’ within the meaning of Section 25 of the Indian Evidence Act and therefore a confession made by an accused under Section 67 of the Act before such officers was inadmissible in evidence.


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Sheru vs Narcotics Control Bureau

there is no doubt that the rigors of Section 37 would have to be met before the sentence of a convict is suspended and bail granted and mere passage of time cannot be a reason for the same. However, we are faced with unusual times where the Covid situation permeates. We are also conscious that this Court has passed orders for release of persons on bail to de-congest the jail but that but that is applicable to cases of upto seven years sentence. In the given aforesaid facts and circumstances of the case, we consider it appropriate to enlarge the appellant on bail on terms and conditions to the satisfaction of the Trial Court.


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Mukesh Singh vs State (Narcotic Branch Of Delhi)

there is no reason to doubt the credibility of the informant and doubt the entire case of the prosecution solely on the ground that the informant has investigated the case. Solely on the basis of some apprehension or the doubts, the entire prosecution version cannot be discarded and the accused is not to be straightway acquitted unless and until the accused is able to establish and prove the bias and the prejudice.


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State Of Kerala vs Rajesh

The Apex Court had laid down that the twin Conditions of section 37 to be satisfied before releasing NDPS offender on bail.


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Gurmail Chand vs State Of Punjab

The provision of section 57 of act has been held to be directory and to be complied with but mere not sending the report within the said period cannot have such consequence as to vitiate the entire proceeding.


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The State Of Rajasthan vs Sahi Ram

If the seizure of the material is otherwise proved on record and is not even doubted or disputed the entire contraband material need not be placed before this Court. If the seizure is otherwise not in doubt, there is no requirement that the entire material ought to be produced before the Court. At times the material could be so bulky, for instance as in the present material when those 7 bags weighed 223 kgs that it may not be possible and feasible to produce the entire bulk before the Court. If the seizure is otherwise proved, what is required to be proved is the fact that the samples taken from and out of the contraband material were kept intact, that when the samples were submitted for forensic examination the seals were intact, that the report of the forensic experts shows the potency, nature and quality of the contraband material and that based on such material, the essential ingredients constituting an offence are made out.


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State of Punjab vs. Rakesh Kumar

The aforesaid decision further clarifies that, the N.D.P.S Act, should not be read in exclusion to Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. Additionally, it is the prerogative of the State to prosecute the offender in accordance with law. In the present case, since the action of the accused-Respondents amounted to a prima-facie violation of Section 8 of the N.D.P.S Act, they were charged under Section 22 of the N.D.P.S Act.


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Mohan Lal vs The State Of Punjab

Informant and investigation officer should not be same.


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Surinder Kumar Khanna vs Intelligence Officer

Conviction cannot be based solely on co-accused’s ‘Confessional Statement’ – Held – The Supreme Court has held that conviction under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, cannot be based solely on the confessional statement of a co-accused, in the absence of a substantive piece of evidence. The bench observed: “Even if we are to proceed on the premise that such statement under Section 67 of the NDPS Act may amount to confession, in our view, certain additional features must be established before such a confessional statement could be relied upon against a co-accused. It is noteworthy that unlike Section 15 of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act, 1987 which specifically makes confession of a co-accused admissible against other accused in certain eventualities; there is no such similar or identical provision in the NDPS Act making such confession admissible against a co-accused. The matter, therefore, has to be seen in the light of the law laid down by this Court as regards general application of a confession of a co-accused as against other accused.” “On the touchstone of law laid down by this Court such a confessional statement of a co-accused cannot by itself be taken as a substantive piece of evidence against another co-accused and can at best be used or utilized in order to lend assurance to the Court.”


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Arif Khan @ Agha Khan vs The State Of Uttarakhand

The Hon'ble Supreme Court did not agree with the observations of the trial Court and High Court that if the accused has given his consent that he can be searched by the police officer then it is compliance of S.50. The Court acquitted the accused citing its reasons: - the appellant was not produced before any Magistrate or Gazetted officer; - none of the police officials of the raiding party, who recovered the contraband "Charas" from him was Gazetted Officer - It is mandatory for the prosecution to prove that the search and recovery was made from the appellant in the presence of a Magistrate or a Gazetted Officer.


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UOI vs. Mohanlal and Anr

The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the present matter had taken cognizance of the fact that a lot of seized contraband is being kept with the Central and State agencies and that the efforts taken towards the destruction of such contraband are not adequate. The Court has observed that the contraband is finding its way back into the society. After careful scrutiny of the collected data from different agencies and High Courts in regard to seizure, storage, disposal and destruction of the seized contraband, the Court has delivered a judgment on these aspects of NDPS law.


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State Of Rajasthan vs Parmanand And Anr

The Court held that the accused must be individually informed that under Section 50(1) of the NDPS Act, he has a right to be searched before a nearest gazetted officer or before a nearest Magistrate.


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Gian Chand & Ors vs State Of Haryana

Therefore, mere non-joining of an independent witness where the evidence of the prosecution witnesses may be found to be cogent, convincing, creditworthy and reliable, cannot cast doubt on the version forwarded by the prosecution if there seems to be no reason on record to falsely implicate the appellants.


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Thana Singh vs Central Bureau Of Narcotics

The Apex Court has condemned adjournments and mandated block dates for examination of witnesses, directed each state to establish forensic labs. Guidelines for retesting of samples, monitoring of trial, quality of public prosecutors have been issued by the Apex Court.


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Sukhdev Singh vs. State of Haryana

the Director General of Police concerned of all the States to issue appropriate instructions directing the investigating officers to duly comply with the provisions of Section 42 of NDPS Act at the appropriate stage to avoid such acquittals. Compliance to the provisions of Section 42 being mandatory, it is the incumbent duty of every investigating officer to comply with the same in true substance and spirit in consonance with the law stated by this Court in the case of Karnail Singh (supra).


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Mohd.Sahabuddin & Anr vs State Of Assam

As rightly held by the High Court, the said contention should have satisfied the twin conditions, namely, that the contents of the narcotic substance should not be more than 100 mg. of codeine, per dose unit and with a concentration of not more than 2.5% in undivided preparation apart from the other condition, namely, that it should be only for therapeutic practice. Therapeutic practice as per dictionary meaning means contributing to cure of disease.


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Harjit Singh vs State Of Punjab

In such a fact-situation, determination of the contents of morphine in the opium becomes totally irrelevant for the purpose of deciding whether the substance would be a small or commercial quantity. The entire substance has to be considered to be opium as the material recovered was not a mixture and the case falls squarely under Entry 92. Undoubtedly, the FSL Report provided for potency of the opium giving particulars of morphine contents. It goes without saying that opium would contain some morphine which should be not less than the prescribed quantity, however, the percentage of morphine is not a decisive factor for determination of quantum of punishment, as the opium is to be dealt with under a distinct and separate entry from that of morphine.


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Jarnail Singh vs State Of Punjab

The Apex Court held that if the delay in sending samples for forensic examination was unintentional and the samples seal was intact then such forensic report is admissible in law and does not vitiate trial.


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Vijaysinh Chandubhai Jadeja vs State Of Gujarat

It is mandatory to inform the suspect of existence of his right to be searched before a Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate and in case he so opts failure to conduct search before such officer or Magistrate would render the recovery of article suspect and vitiate conviction if it is recorded on the base of recovery alone. Information need not be communicated in a prescribed form or in writing.


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Dalel Singh vs State Of Haryana

Compliance of section 41 by electronic media like wireless etc. : information having been transmitted through wireless and in our opinion would be a substantial compliance of Section 42 of the NDPS Act since the situation was of emergency.


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Sanjay Kumar Kedia@Sanjay Kedia vs Intelligence Officer

The Apex Court directed that in lieu of the statutory provisions contained in Section 36 A (4) laid down the principle of extension of the statutory period and a particular procedure to be followed for the same.


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Karnail Singh vs State Of Haryana

Compliance of section 41 by electronic media like wireless Etc...... In other words, the compliance with the requirements of Section 42(1) and 42(2) in regard to writing down the information received and sending a copy thereof to the superior officer, should normally precede the entry, search and seizure by the officer. But in special circumstances involving emergent situations, the recording of the information in writing and sending a copy thereof to the officer superior may get postponed by a reasonable period, that is after the search, entry and seizure. The question is one of urgency and expediency.


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Karnail Singh vs State Of Haryana

Compliance of section 41 by electronic media like wireless Etc...... In other words, the compliance with the requirements of Section 42(1) and 42(2) in regard to writing down the information received and sending a copy thereof to the superior officer, should normally precede the entry, search and seizure by the officer. But in special circumstances involving emergent situations, the recording of the information in writing and sending a copy thereof to the officer superior may get postponed by a reasonable period, that is after the search, entry and seizure. The question is one of urgency and expediency.


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U.O.I vs Bal Mukund & Ors

“a conviction, in our opinion, should not be based merely on the basis of a statement made under Section 67 of the Act without any independent corroboration particularly in view of the fact that such statements have been retracted” In this case, the Trial Court had convicted accused persons after placing reliance solely on statements recorded under Section 67. The High Court acquitted the accused persons. The High Court also observed that the statements made by one accused cannot be read against the other co-accused. The Hon’ble Supreme Court upheld the observations of the High Court.


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Noor Aga vs State Of Punjab & Anr

In Noor Aga v. State of Punjab (2008)16 SCC 417 the Apex Court observed that there should be substantial compliance of the provisions of control over and disposal of the narcotics.


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E. Micheal Raj vs Intelligence Officer

It appears from the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Amending Act of 2001 that the intention of the legislature was to rationalize the sentence structure so as to ensure that while drug traffickers who traffic in significant quantities of drugs are punished with deterrent sentence, the addicts and those who commit less serious offences are sentenced to less severe punishment. Under the rationalised sentence structure, the punishment would vary depending upon the quantity of offending material. Thus, we find it difficult to accept the argument advanced on behalf of the respondent that the rate of purity is irrelevant since any preparation which is more than the commercial quantity of 250 gms. and contains 0.2% of heroin or more would be punishable under Section 21(c) of the NDPS Act, because the intention of the legislature as it appears to us is to levy punishment based on the content of the offending drug in the mixture and not on the weight of the mixture as such.


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Kanhaiyalal vs Union Of India

A retracted confession may form the legal basis of a conviction if the court is satisfied that it was true and was voluntarily made. But it has been held that a Court shall not base a conviction on such a conviction without corroboration


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Union Of India vs Shri Shiv Shanker Kesari

It is for the limited purpose essentially confined to the question of releasing the accused on bail that the Court is called upon to see if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty and records its satisfaction about the existence of such grounds. Additionally, the Court has to record a finding that while on bail the accused is not likely to commit any offence and there should also exist some materials to come to such a conclusion.


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Dadu @ Tulsidas vs State Of Maharashtra

A sentence awarded under the Act can be suspended by the appellate court only and strictly subject to the conditions spelt out in Section 37 of the Act as dealt with in this judgment.


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Union Of India vs Ram Samujh And Anr

An accused facing prosecution under NDPS Act for the offences mentioned in section 37 should be released on bail only when the conditions of section 37 of the NDPS act are strictly satisfied.


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State Of Punjab vs Baldev Singh

The court held that the provisions of Section 50 of the Act implicitly make it imperative and obligatory and cast a duty on the Investigating Officer (empowered officer) to ensure that search of the concerned person (suspect) is conducted in the manner prescribed by Section 50, by intimating to the concerned person about the existence of his right, that if he so requires, he shall be searched before a Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate and in case he so opts, failure to conduct his search before a Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate, would cause prejudice to an accused and render the recovery of the illicit article suspect and vitiate the conviction and sentence of an accused, where the conviction has been recorded only on the basis of the possession of the illicit article, recovered during a search conducted in violation of the provisions of Section 50 of the Act. The omission may not vitiate the trial as such.


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