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Credible, Plausible Grounds Required To Believe Accused Is Not Guilty Of Offence In NDPS Case: SC

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said for arriving at any such conclusion, such facts and circumstances must exist in a case that can persuade the Court to believe that the accused person would not have committed such an offence.

Credible, Plausible Grounds Required To Believe Accused Is Not Guilty Of Offence In NDPS Case: SC
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The Supreme Court Tuesday said that credible and plausible grounds are required for the court to believe that the accused is not guilty of the alleged offence in a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act case.  

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said for arriving at any such conclusion, such facts and circumstances must exist in a case that can persuade the Court to believe that the accused person would not have committed such an offence.

"Expression 'reasonable grounds' used in clause (b) of Sub-Section (1) of Section 37 (NDPS Act) would mean credible, plausible, and grounds for the Court to believe that the accused person is not guilty of the alleged offence.  

"Dove-tailed with the aforesaid satisfaction is an additional consideration that the accused person is unlikely to commit any offence while on bail," the bench also comprising Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli said. 

Section 37 of the NDPS Act deals with the granting of bail to an accused arrested in a drug case. The top court's observation came while hearing an appeal filed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) against an order of the Delhi High Court granting bail to an accused in an NDPS case.

The high court while granting bail to the accused had noted that there is no other material against the accused besides a confessional statement recorded under Section 67 of the NDPS Act.  

The apex court said the narrow parameters of bail available under Section 37 of the Act, have not been satisfied in the facts of the instant case.

"At this stage, it is not safe to conclude that the respondent has successfully demonstrated that there are reasonable grounds to believe that he is not guilty of the offence alleged against him, for him to have been admitted to bail.

"The length of the period of his custody or the fact that the charge sheet has been filed and the trial has commenced are by themselves not considerations that can be treated as persuasive grounds for granting relief to the respondent under Section 37 of the NDPS Act," the bench said while allowing the appeal of the NCB and directing the accused to surrender.

-With PTI Input

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