Thursday, Aug 11, 2022
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SC Grants Bail To Differently-Abled Man In NDPS And MCOCA Case

The apex court noted the submissions of the counsel appearing for the accused that the appellant is a differently-abled person with a Jaipur foot, a rubber based prosthetic leg, and has lost about 12 kg while in custody.

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Supreme Court of India PTI

The Supreme Court has granted bail to a differently-abled man accused in a case lodged under the anti-narcotics law and the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), saying he has been in custody for four years and this would logically give him a break from the alleged syndicate. The top court passed the order earlier this week on an appeal filed by the accused against a July 2021 Bombay High Court verdict rejecting his bail application.

A bench of Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh said  the prosecution will be at liberty to move for cancellation of bail before the trial court if the appellant is found indulging in trade of drugs or if any other offence is detected against him. The apex court noted the submissions of the counsel appearing for the accused that the appellant is a differently-abled person with a Jaipur foot, a rubber based prosthetic leg, and has lost about 12 kg while in custody. Even his Jaipur foot does not fit him properly, the counsel argued.

The appellant was arrested in January 2018 in connection with the case lodged in Pune under provisions of The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and MCOCA. “In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances and looking to the fact that the trial is even yet to commence, the appellant is in custody for four years, the period of custody itself would logically give a break from the syndicate the head of which is in custody, looking at the physical condition of the appellant, we are inclined to grant bail to the appellant on terms and conditions to the satisfaction of the trial court,” the apex court bench said in its order.

The bench noted that the state’s counsel had opposed the bail application on the ground that MCOCA provisions have been invoked as the appellant was allegedly found connected with a syndicate of another accused, who is in custody. “We are granting the bail to the appellant in the given facts of the case, not to be treated as a precedent for the other co-accused,” it said.

The apex court said that apart from any other condition, the appellant will report to the local police station on alternate Mondays in the forenoon. His counsel had claimed before the high court that the prosecution’s story was false. He argued that the accused had an amputated leg and it was impossible even to imagine that he could be driving a four-wheeler as alleged by the police. The counsel had also argued before the high court that no contraband was recovered from the applicant.

With PTI Inputs

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