SC pulls up NCB for 'half-hearted job', refuses to interfere with HC order

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New Delhi, Jun 30 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for its negligence and “half-hearted job” in a case and refused to interfere with the Allahabad High Court order granting bail to an accused in a narcotics case.

“If you (prosecution) are so negligent and callous, then why should we show indulgence in this matter,” a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana told Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati.

Bhati told the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, it was the “fault” of the prosecution that it had not informed the high court about criminal antecedents of the accused who has been granted bail but not released since he is in custody in another matter.

“What is this half-hearted job? Are your people not sincere? They merely want that his bail be cancelled,” the bench said.

Bhati said they would file additional affidavit giving all the details.

“If your government is not sincere enough in defending cases, then we can’t aid you,” the bench observed.

At the outset, Bhati told the bench that accused is in custody in another case lodged under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

“Additional Solicitor General submits that the respondent has already been granted bail by the high court vide order dated November 10, 2020 but he has not been released as he is in custody in connection with some other case also,” the bench noted in its order.

“In view of the above and taking into consideration the totality of facts and circumstances of the present case, we are not inclined to interfere with the impugned order as the high court, by exercising its discretionary power, has already granted bail to the respondent herein,” it said, while dismissing the plea.

The bench, however, made it clear that this should not be a ground to release the accused in other case or to extend the benefit to any other accused.

The high court, in its order passed in November last year, had granted bail to the accused observing that he was in prison for almost 21 months and had no criminal history.

An FIR was lodged in the matter alleging that 20 kg of contraband ‘charas’ was recovered from the car of accused. PTI ABA PKS SA

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