The amount of anesthetic substance is a relevant factor in determining the amount of punishment – SC
The Apex Court in the case of Gurdev Singh v Punjab Statemade an observation that the amount of narcotics recovered from the defendant plays an important role while imposing a penalty higher than that mentioned in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985.
The bank also found that the court has a discretionary discretion in imposing the prison sentence between 10 and 20 years, as well as taking into account factors other than those provided for in Section 32B (a) bis (f) of the NDPS Act.
In the present case, the defendant was in possession of 1 kg of heroin, which is four times the commercial minimum. The special court found the defendant guilty and imposed a penalty for committing a crime under Section 21 of the law.
The court sentenced him to 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 2 lakh. The defendant appealed to the High Court but was dismissed. So the defendant approached the doors of the Apex Court.
The indicted plea was that neither the Special Court nor the Supreme Court had given reasons for imposing a 15-year sentence, taking into account the various factors enumerated under Section 32B of the Act.
The Apex Court responded to the allegation made by the defendants, stating that Section 32B empowers the court to consider any other factor it deems appropriate to impose a penalty greater than the minimum penalty.
To support this, the bank relied on the case of Rafiq Qureshi v Narcotic Control Bureauit was found that a simple reading of Section 32B makes it clear that the court should not limit itself to the factors mentioned therein and may also consider others.
The Apex Court therefore dismissed the defendant’s complaint.