In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of India has issued a significant directive regarding the grant of bail in cases involving the recovery of large quantities of narcotic substances. The apex court, comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Sandeep Mehta, overturned a decision by the High Court to grant anticipatory bail to an accused involved in a case concerning the procurement/supply of 232.5 kg of ganja. The judgment, authored by Justice Sandeep Mehta, highlighted the omission of critical factors by the High Court, particularly the failure to acknowledge the substantial recovery of the narcotic substance and the accused’s previous criminal record under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The accused respondent faced charges under Sections 8©, 20(b)(ii)(c), and 29(1) of the NDPS Act, pertaining to conspiracy in the procurement/supply of the seized ganja. Despite opposition from the Public Prosecutor, the High Court granted anticipatory bail to the accused, a decision challenged by the State through a criminal appeal.

The Supreme Court emphasized the mandatory requirement under Section 37 of the NDPS Act for courts to record satisfaction regarding the accused’s innocence and the likelihood of not committing further offenses while on bail. Particularly in cases involving the recovery of commercial quantities of narcotic substances, the court underscored the need for cautious consideration before granting bail, especially when the accused has a history of criminal involvement.

Expressing dismay at the unusual conditions imposed by the High Court for anticipatory bail, including a monetary deposit to a specific association, the Supreme Court deemed the decision as contradictory to established principles of bail jurisprudence and termed it as perverse.

Consequently, the Supreme Court set aside the High Court’s order, describing it as cryptic and unsustainable. The accused was directed to surrender before the trial court within ten days from the date of the Supreme Court’s order.

The case, titled State by the Inspector of Police versus B. Ramu , has significant implications for the judicial treatment of bail applications in narcotic cases. The Supreme Court’s ruling underscores the importance of thorough consideration of relevant factors, such as the quantity of narcotics involved and the accused’s criminal history, before granting bail.

Heading Suggestions:
1. Supreme Court Sets Precedent: Caution Urged in Granting Bail in Narcotic Cases
2. Landmark Judgment: Supreme Court’s Directive on Bail in Narcotic Offenses
3. Judicial Milestone: Supreme Court Revises Bail Criteria for Narcotic Cases
4. Balancing Justice: Supreme Court’s Stand on Bail Amidst Narcotic Substance Recoveries

This comprehensive analysis reflects the essence of the Supreme Court’s decision and its implications for the legal landscape concerning bail in cases related to narcotic substances.

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