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IndiaHC quashes lower court proceedings against drug addict

HC quashes lower court proceedings against drug addict


Chennai, Nov 17 (PTI) The Madras High Court has quashed proceedings in a lower court against a 50-year-old man, who was charged with consumption of cocaine in 2015, holding that he was entitled to seek benefit from an NDPS Act provision which provides immunity from prosecution to addicts volunteering for treatment.

The court had passed the order last week on a criminal revision plea filed by Sanjiv Bhatnagar of Chennai.

According to the prosecution, the petitioner had procured for consumption 3.88 gms of white colour powder believed to be cocaine, which was seized from him.

Subsequently, a case was registered against him under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 and he was arrested.

When the petitioner filed a discharge petition in the NDPS court, Chennai, it was dismissed following which he moved the High Court.

The petitioner had in December 2015 filed an application before the court, stating that he was willing to undergo treatment for de-addiction at a government recognised hospital.

On hearing his plea, the court had stayed further proceedings against him in the lower court and posted the matter for hearing to June 15, 2016 while directing the petitioner to undergo treatment at a private hospital here.

When the matter came up recently, the court said: “This court is of the view that when the material gathered by the prosecution itself informs the petitioner to be a user of drugs and not in too large a quantity, the provision for rehabilitation should be given effect to at the earliest.”

It is to be noted that in offence under Section 27 of NDPS Act, no distinction is made between small and commercial quantity, the court observed.

Rejecting the objections raised by the Special Public Prosecutor for discharging the petitioner, the court said, “Given the attendant facts and circumstances, this Court would hold applicable Section 64(A) of the Act. Given the further developments and the report submitted by the hospital, petitioner has gained immunity from prosecution.”

It then said “all proceedings pending before the NDPS court shall stand cancelled.”

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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