Bombay HC grants bail to man held for possessing ganja

The court held that the trial court can ascertain whether the quantity was more than permissible limits and as the man had been in jail since 2019, he could be released on bail.

The Bombay High Court recently granted bail to a man arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act for possessing contraband less than permissible commercial quantity.

The court held that the trial court can ascertain whether the quantity was more than permissible limits and as the man had been in jail since 2019, he could be released on bail.

A single-judge bench of Justice Sarang V Kotwal passed an order on April 8 on the bail application of Santosh Madhukar Shinde — argued through advocate Ganesh Gupta — seeking his release in connection with a complaint registered at Kamothe police station, Navi Mumbai, under provisions of NDPS Act.

A police constable attached with the crime branch, Mumbai Police, registered the FIR, stating that on August 1, 2019, the officers received information that a woman was to arrive at Khanda village to sell ganja and the police conducted a raid at the spot. The woman was found to carry a plastic bag containing ganja weighing nearly 2.325 kg, and was arrested.

Her questioning led to a raid at another person’s house, from whom nearly 13.kg ganja was recovered. Enquiry revealed that applicant Shinde was sitting in a pick-up vehicle containing more ganja. After searching the vehicle, the applicant was arrested with 8.425 kg ganja.

Shinde was arrested on August 2, 2019 and since then he is in custody. The HC noted that the probe is over and the chargesheet has been filed by the prosecution.

Justice Kotwal in his order noted, “At this stage, at least there is nothing to connect that contraband found from the present Applicant was in any manner connected with the other two accused. Therefore, at this stage, today I am considering the quantity of Ganja which was found in the pick-up van which was less than commercial quantity. Whether it was a conscious possession or not is also a matter for trial.”

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