Accused found guilty under NDPS Act should not be shown leniency: SC
An accused who is found to be guilty of the offence under the NDPS Act should not be shown any leniency as they are instruments in causing death to several innocent young victims, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.The top court also said that while applying discretion under Section 427 of CrPC Criminal Procedure Code, it shall not be in favour of the accused who is found to be indulging in illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
An accused who is found to be guilty of the offence under the NDPS Act should not be shown any leniency as they are instruments in causing death to several innocent young victims, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.
The top court also said that while applying discretion under Section 427 of CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code), it shall not be in favour of the accused who is found to be indulging in illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. ''No leniency should be shown to an accused who is found to be guilty for the offence under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Those persons who are dealing in narcotic drugs are instruments in causing death or in inflicting death blow to a number of innocent young victims who are vulnerable. Such accused cause deleterious effects and deadly impact on society. ''They are a hazard to society. Such organised activities of clandestine smuggling of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances into this country and illegal trafficking in such drugs and substances have a deadly impact on society as a whole. Therefore, while awarding the sentence or punishment in case of NDPS Act, the interest of the society as a whole is required to be taken into consideration,'' said a bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna.
The bench observed while dismissing an appeal filed by Mohd Zahid against an order of the Delhi High Court which had rejected his plea and confirmed his sentence of 15 years along with a fine of Rs 1.5 lakh under the NDPS Act.
The top court said ''Even while exercising discretion under Section 427 of CrPC (Sentence on offender already sentenced for another offence) to run subsequent sentence concurrently with the previous sentence, the discretion is to be exercised judiciously and depending upon the offence/offences committed. ''Therefore, considering the offences under the NDPS Act which are very serious in nature and against the society at large, no discretion shall be exercised in favour of such accused who is indulging into the offence under the NDPS Act,'' the bench said.
Zahid was also sentenced to undergo 12 years of rigorous imprisonment by the Amritsar court for recovery of 4 kg of heroin. While in the case in Delhi, he was sentenced to 15 years for recovery of 750 grams of heroin.
The question for the consideration before the top court was whether the sentences imposed against Zahid by two different courts in two different trials but against the same accused/person should run concurrently or consecutively.
The bench said in the present case, Zahid has been convicted concerning two different transactions, there are different crime numbers and the cases have been decided by the different judgements. ''Therefore, the appellant is not entitled to any benefit of concurrent sentence under Section 427 of CrPC. There is no specific order or direction issued by the court while imposing the subsequent sentence that the subsequent sentence to run concurrently with the previous sentence,'' the bench said.
The top court dismissed the appeal filed by Zahid and directed the sentences shall run concurrently.
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