Taking note of the statistics that 435 out of 660 persons arrested in connection with crime relating to psychotropic substance stand enlarged on bail, the Tripura High Court sought explanation from the state government.
Chief Justice Sanjay Karol was considering a bail application of accused Pritam Roy. The Director-General of Police had submitted a statement with regard to the status of the cases under the provision of the NDPS Act and release of the accused only for the year 2018.
Terming this situation as a ‘shocking state of affairs’, Chief Justice Sanjay Karol said: “What are the reasons for grant of bail; is it what is commonly termed as a default bail; is it that the Public Prosecutor conceded to the grant of bail; is it that the Public Prosecutors did not oppose the same; is it that the Courts have passed the orders without following the settled principles of law; or is it that innocent stand falsely implicated. If so, then why no action, in accordance with law, stands taken against the erring persons by the authorities.”
The court also directed the Director General of Police to place on record in a tabulated form, information with respect to all the cases pertaining to NDPS registered in the year 2018. “The information has to be specific, in detail and individually indicating the number of the case; number of persons arrested in connection thereto; date of their arrest; date on which interim or final order of bail was granted; reason for grant of bail; whether interim order has attained finality; and as to whether any proceedings assailing the same stands initiated and/or is sought to be filed; the reason for not completing the investigation or not presenting the challan within the stipulated period etc. etc. Two weeks granted for such purpose,” the court added.
The court also directed the Registrar General to forthwith intimate all the judicial officers dealing with the cases of NDPS of the state about the judgment of the high court in Sudhir Sarkar Vs. The State of Tripura wherein following directives were issued:
- To take active steps to destroy the cultivation of grown-up cannabis (ganja) as well as the cultivation of said cannabis and form an appropriate committee comprising of Superintendent of Police of all the Districts of the State of Tripura to take appropriate measures to prevent further cultivation of cannabis in any of the parts of the state of Tripura. The said exercise shall be completed within a period of 6 (six) months from the period of passing of this judgment. Further, the officers, as aforesaid, are directed to furnish the report of progress of implementation of this order within 1st week of every month.
- The Chief Secretary and the DGP will take appropriate measure to train and educate the police officials in regard to the compliance of the procedure established by law, which they should follow at the time of seizure and recovery of the illegal drugs, as mentioned in the NDPS Act.
- The State government may take the assistance of Tripura Law Training Institute as well as Tripura Judicial Academy for this purpose.
- At the same time, it is also directed that the two top officers of the State should keep a strong vigil so that innocents are not subjected to harassment at the behest of the true culprits.
- The state government is further directed to sensitize the citizens of the State about the object and purpose of the Police Accountability Commission, Government of Tripura and apprise the people in regard to its role and modus operandi.
- The state government may consider implementation of the guidelines as envisaged by the apex court in Prakash Singh.