Bombay High Court has recently made a significant decision that could potentially have far-reaching implications in narcotics cases. In a recent case, Ibrahim Khwaja Miya Sayyed @ Raju v. State of Maharashtra, the court held that when ascertaining the weight of ganja for deciding the extent of culpability under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act), the weight of seeds, leaves and stalks of the plant must be excluded.

Justice Anuja Prabhudessai, the single-judge, emphasized that as per Section 2(iii)(b) of the NDPS Act, the definition of Ganja refers to the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant, excluding the seeds and leaves when they are not accompanied by the tops. The court noted that the definition of Ganja does not include the seeds and leaves unless they are accompanied by the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant.

The decision has been received positively by many as it clarifies the legal position on determining the weight of ganja in narcotics cases. The court’s decision led to the grant of bail to an accused in a narcotics case after the court determined that the quantity of ganja seized from him may have included the weight of the plant’s leaves, seeds, and stalks without the flowering or fruiting part. It is notable that amount to Ganja seized could led to rigorous imprisonment for up to 20 years including fine of minimum INR 1 Lakh.

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