New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS): The Delhi High Court has said that there is no mandatory time duration prescribed for sampling of psychotropic substances in the presence of a Magistrate. The observation was made by a bench of Justice Amit Bansal as it considered a regular bail plea filed by an accused charged under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act).
Earlier, bail plea was dismissed by Patiala House Courts in August 2022.
"Though it is desirable that the procedure contemplated in Section 52-A of the NDPS Act be complied with at the earliest, mere delayed compliance of the same cannot be a ground for grant of bail. The applicant will have to show the prejudice caused on account of delayed compliance of Section 52-A of the NDPS Act," the bench said.
Section 52-A of the NDPS Act provides that upon seizure of psychotropic substances, the officer shall approach the Magistrate, under whose presence and supervision the process of sampling will be conducted and certified to be correct.
In the present case, the sampling of the seized psychotropic substances was carried out in the presence of the Magistrate and the accused persons and the samples were directed to be sent for testing, the High Court noted.
In 2019, NCB reached DTDC Express in New Delhi and found one parcel which, inter alia, contained 500 strips of 10 tablets each of Alprazolam.
The total weight of the 5,000 tablets of Alprazolam was ascertained to be 1 kg, which constitutes to be a commercial quantity (commercial quantity of Alprazolam being 100 grams).
Upon investigation from the manufacturer of the medicines, it was found that 15,000 tablets were sold to one Somdutt Singh.
Singh disclosed that he used to send parcels containing psychotropic substances abroad through different post offices by using fake IDs.
Further investigation revealed that a huge quantity of psychotropic substances was lying at his rented apartment in Delhi's Narela.
The High Court dismissed the bail plea saying that "the twin conditions of Section 37 of the NDPS Act are not satisfied and bail cannot be granted to the applicant at this stage".