Abbas Khan Vs.
Central Bureau of Narcotics  INSC 66 (14 January 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.101 OF 2005 ABBAS
KHAN Appellant (s) VERSUS CENTRAL BUREAU OF NARCOTICS Respondent(s) WITH
CRL.A.NO.651/2006 ORDER These appellants were tried along with two other
accused by the Special Judge, N.D.P.S., Mandsore(M.P.) for the offences
punishable under Section 18 read with Section 8 of the Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (for short 'the Act'). The prosecution case
was that the Superintendent-M.C.Vijay of the Central Bureau of Narcotics, along
with other officers, were on patrol duty on 1.5.1997 and at about 9.45 p.m.
they intercepted the truck-DIG 4753. Two persons were in the truck and when
they stopped the truck and thereafter started running away and the Inspector
A.K.Tulsidasan apprehended them. The truck was searched in the presence of the
witnesses and it was found that 2.10 KGs of Opium and 8 KGs of Dodachura were
also found in the truck. The officers prepared a mazhar and seized the articles
and a case was registered against two accused viz. Shri Hardeo Singh and
Daljeet Singh. On questioning these two accused, officers came to know that
Opium was sold by the present appellants Abbas 2 Khan and Azam Khan. P.W.6
issued a notice under Section 67 of the Act to the appellants and their
statements were taken. In their statements they admitted having sold Opium to
other accused who were also travelling in the truck.
After the trial the
Special Judge found all the four guilty under Section 18 of the Act and they
were sentenced to undergo 10 years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs.1
lac each. In the appeal filed by the accused, the High Court confirmed the
conviction. The first and second accused Hardeo Singh and Daljeet Singh did not
prefer any appeal while accused nos.3 and 4 have filed the present appeals
before this Court.
Heard both sides.
relied on the admission made under Section 67 of the Act by these two accused
before P.W.6 but we notice that the contraband articles allegedly seized from
the first and second accused were not shown to the present two appellants and
there is no evidence to show that the very same articles were seized by the
officers in the course of investigation. There is practically no evidence to
show as to how much quantity of articles were allegedly sold by these
appellants. However, we do not think that the statements made by these accused
are inadmissible in evidence as they were made under Section 67 of the Act. At
the same time the evidence adduced would only prove that they had dealt with
narcotic drugs and to that extent the admission is valid. As the 3 quantity
itself is not proved, one could only say that it is not possible to assume that
they were dealing with any commercial quantity of contraband articles, which
offence by itself is of a very serious nature. The prosecution should have
produced better evidence to sustain such conviction.
Under the above
circumstances, we hold that the accused could only be convicted under Section
18(b) of the Act. We are told that the appellants have already undergone a
fairly long period of sentence. There is no evidence that they were dealing
with any commercial quantity of these contraband articles. Therefore, we
confirm the conviction. In our opinion, the sentence already undergone by the
appellants is sufficient to meet the ends of justice. We direct the appellants
to be released forthwith, if not required in any other case. Learned counsel
for the appellants submits that the fine imposed is also not paid so far. The
fine so imposed upon the appellants is also waived off.
The appeals are
disposed of accordingly.