More than eight years after Delhi Police’s Special Cell claimed to have busted an international drug racket with the recovery of drugs valued at Rs 100 crore, the Delhi High Court released two of the accused persons on bail on account of a protracted trial.
Justice Yogesh Khanna said that out of 26 witnesses, the prosecution has examined only 14 till date “in a span of eight years” during the trial. Both the accused are suffering trial under sections 21 and 29 of the NDPS Act which entail minimum punishment of 10 years with a fine, noted the court.
“Admittedly, Abdul Sattar and Noushad Abdul Rahiman are in custody since May 24, 2014, and ten witnesses are yet to be examined, hence, considering the law laid down, as above, I admit both the petitioners on bail on their executing a personal bond of Rs 1.00 lac each with one surety each of like amount to the satisfaction of the learned Trial Court,” said Justice Khanna in the order.
Seeking bail in the case, the accused had argued that the delay in trial violates their right under Article 21 of the Constitution and referred to various Supreme Court judgments where bail has been granted to the accused despite having allegedly been in possession of commercial quantities.
Sattar and Rahiman were arrested by police in May 2014, allegedly on separate dates. Contraband of 30 kg was recovered in the case from different accused including Sattar and Rahiman. Justice Khanna in the order said, “Admittedly, 10 kg of Heroin and 3 kg of Methamphetamine was recovered from Noushad Abdul Rahiman and 500 gm of Heroin was recovered from Abdul Sattar.”
The Special Cell in 2014 had said the accused were involved in mass trafficking of high-value narcotics across Kuwait, Dubai, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Sri Lanka and estimated the value of the 30 kg contraband at Rs 100 crore in the international market.