Man sitting in Car containing Drugs can't be deemed to be in Possession:Orissa HC

Team SoOLEGAL 18 Jul 2022 4:46pm

Man sitting in Car containing Drugs can't be deemed to be in Possession:Orissa HC

New Delhi: In an NDPS case, the Orissa High Court ruled that a person simply sitting in a car containing drugs should not be considered in possession of the drugs.

In the case of Kishore Bira vs State of Orissa, AIR 1975 Ori 8, a single judge bench of Justice S.K Panigrahi of the Orissa High Court granted bail to the accused convicted under Sections 20(b)(ii)(C), 25, and 29 of the NDPS Act and Section 437 of the IPC.

According to the facts of the case, the police discovered one commander jeep without a number plate in front of their bolero while driving at high speeds. The police party followed the car and eventually stopped it. Later, 14 ganja-filled jerry bags were found in the jeep.

The driver was unable to produce any documentation to support the transportation of such illegal substances. After being weighed, 400kg of marijuana was seized. The ganja was seized after all procedures were followed, and the petitioner was arrested.

The petitioner's learned counsel contended that the petitioner is a daily wage labourer who earns his living through labour work. On the day of the incident, the petitioner was hired as a labourer to load and unload the bags. He had no idea what was inside the luggage. As a result, it cannot be claimed that the illegal marijuana discovered in the car belonged to the petitioner and was taken without his or her knowledge. If the owner of the cargo in the vehicle abandons the vehicle, the driver and passengers inside have no right to possession.

He also responded to the opposing counsel's contention that section 20 is not invoked unless the possession is accompanied by the required mental element, i.e., conscious possession as opposed to just custody without awareness of the nature of such possession.

Finally, the Counsel emphasized that a speedy trial is a fundamental right of every citizen. As a result, holding someone in custody for so long without a trial is unjustified and an infringement of the person's fundamental right.

The counsel backed up this claim by citing a Supreme Court decision titled 'Hussainara Khatoon & Ors vs Home Secretary, State of Bihar, 1979 AIR 1369.'

The court ordered the petitioner to be released on bail with strict terms and conditions deemed just and proper by the court. The following circumstances exist:

·         “On each date, the case is posted, the Petitioner must attend before the learned trial court.”

·         “He will refrain from engaging in the same behavior going forward.”

·         He is not permitted to alter the prosecution witnesses' testimony in any way.”

Tagged: Man sitting   Drugs  
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