Supreme Court: Neutral Substance Quantity Cannot Be Ignored While Labelling The Contraband Recovered As ‘Small’ Or ‘Commercial’ Quantity

The Supreme Court in the case Intelligence Officer, Thiruvananthapuram vs K K Naushad observed and has reiterated that neutral substance quantity cannot be ignored while labelling of the quantity contraband recovered as ‘small quantity’ or the ‘commercial quantity’.
In the present case, it was observed that the Kerala High Court (in the impugned judgment that was delivered in 2007) had relied on its earlier judgment in the case E. Micheal Raj V. Intelligence Officer, Narcotic Control Bureau, wherein allowing the appeal filed by the accused who were convicted in an NDPS case.
Last Week, the bench comprising of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Abhay S. Oka observed while allowing the appeal this judgment came up for hearing observed and has noted that the judgment in E. Micheal Raj which later overruled in Hira Singh Vs. Union of India.
The bench observed that there being no cavil to the issue that the judicial pronouncement now settles the issue in the case “Hira Singh & Anr. Vs. Union of India & Anr.” the court stated that the decision of this Court is being relied upon in the impugned judgment in the case “E. Micheal Raj V. Intelligence Officer, Narcotic Control Bureau, is no more good law and in determining as to what is the quantity, the neutral substance quantity is not be ignored.
The bench while allowing the appeal filled by the State observed that the aforesaid being the position, there is little choice with us but to allow the appeal and uphold the sentence as imposed of 10 years by the Trial Court. Though, it has been realised by this court that the travesty of the situation arising from prolonged pendency of the present appeal where the impugned judgment is of vintage 28.3.2007 i.e. 15 years old.

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