SRINAGAR: In the span of the last one month, a trial court in Srinagar has rejected 24 bail applications of drug peddlers.
While rejecting the bail applications, the court held that “the right of liberty of an individual needs to be balanced against the interest of whole society”.
In a detailed order, the court of Third Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mehmood Choudhary, has categorically stated that bail cannot be granted on mere grounds of ‘innocence’. Given the recovery of contraband and looking at the cases closely in view of the investigation process that is going on, the court doesn’t find it feasible to bail the accused at large, especially when the whole society’s interest is at stake.
Additional Public Prosecutor Bilquees Mushtaq Zargar, who was arguing before court on the recent bail application of accused Irshad Ahmed Sheikh, submitted that the recovery of contraband is of a commercial nature and letting the accused out on bail would amount to serious damage to society, especially to the younger generation.
While referring to the police report, she said the detailed police report reveals that the offence committed by the accused is heinous and grave in nature and it concerns the interests of society at large.
The court said that in such serious cases, where the offence alleged is punishable with 10 years imprisonment, discretion is not to be exercised unless the court at that very stage is satisfied that the charge appears to be false and groundless. “But as far as the facts and circumstances of the case are concerned, charas has been recovered from the possession of the accused, so prima-facie there is sufficient evidence on record which makes the court to believe that the accused is prima facie involved in the commission of offence u/s 8/20 NDPS Act. Hence, the bail application is rejected.”
The court has also rejected bail applications of Javaid Ahmed Khan of Srinagar, Bashir Ahmed Dar of Anantnag, Bilal Ahmed Rather of Ganderbal and Ghulam Ahmed Bhat and Shahbaz Ahmed Bhat of Srinagar. All these persons have been arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) Act, and the contraband seized in all these cases is of commercial quantity.
Kashmir Reader spoke to Mohammad Akram, a policeman who had brought before court some of the drug peddling cases accused. He said, “The cases are rising, but we are trying hard to cut the roots of this malady from our society.” He further added that only the police cannot help in this issue, “civil society has to come forward as younger generations are falling into this deadly trap”.