Legal Analysis: NDPS Act Conviction Appeal

Explore a comprehensive legal analysis of a recent case involving an appeal under the NDPS Act. The court’s in-depth scrutiny of evidence, witness testimonies, and statutory procedures is a key highlight of this intriguing case. Stay tuned to understand the nuances of the court’s legal reasoning in upholding the conviction and sentence while considering mitigating circumstances presented by the appellant’s counsel.


  • 11 kgs of ganja was recovered from the appellant and Kalachand Saha.
  • The appellant had already served 2 years 4 months and 16 days out of a 5-year sentence before being released on bail.
  • Three co-accused were acquitted by the High Court due to lack of evidence beyond reasonable doubt.
  • The appellant’s appeal was dismissed, upholding the conviction and sentence under the NDPS Act.
  • Kalachand Saha, although claimed to be arrested with the appellant, was not charge-sheeted.
  • Evidence from PW-1, PW-6, PW-7, and PW-9 was scrutinized by the High Court.
  • The suspects were interrogated and a formal FIR was registered at Police Station Sadaipur.
  • The appellant challenged his conviction before the High Court, arguing that the prosecution’s case was weak and the witness testimonies were not credible.
  • A raid was conducted based on secret information received by the D.S.P. Headquarter, Birbhum, leading to the interception of an Ambassador car with registration number BRW 312 on 16.11.1997.
  • The appellant and other co-accused were charged under Section 20 of the NDPS Act, and a charge sheet was submitted against five individuals, including the appellant.
  • The plea of absence of independent witnesses was raised, especially when PW-2, PW-3, and PW-8 turned hostile.
  • 11 kgs of ganja was seized following statutory procedure after the interception.
  • The appellant, along with another occupant of the car, was caught and arrested as 3/4 occupants managed to flee. They pleaded not guilty, and a trial was conducted where the charges against them were proven.

Also Read: Analysis of Suppression of Information in Employment Selection: Legal Perspective


  • Appellant has suffered protracted trial for more than 23 years
  • Appellant alone has been convicted while co-accused are acquitted
  • Appellant was not involved in any other case under the NDPS Act or other Penal Laws
  • Appellant has already served 2 years 4 months and 16 days of a total sentence of five years
  • Appellant has not misused the concession of bail granted by the Court on 02.11.2012

Also Read: Analysis of Cheating and Forgery in Passport Case


  • The courts are not swayed by the contentions presented by the appellant’s defense.
  • The argument about the lack of reliable ocular evidence due to declared hostile witnesses is dismissed.
  • The appellant did not use the fact of co-accused being acquitted in his defense.
  • Late supplications cannot be entertained at this stage of the proceedings.
  • Concurrent findings of fact by lower courts are not being challenged.
  • Mitigating circumstances are presented by the appellant’s counsel for a reduced sentence.
  • No concrete evidence exists to explain why no charge sheet was filed against the appellant.
  • Appellant’s claim for parity with acquitted co-accused is deemed misconceived.
  • The appellant’s apprehension at the scene and conscious possession of ganja sets him apart from the acquitted co-accused.
  • No substantial question of law is raised on behalf of the appellant.
  • Section 20(i) of the NDPS Act (as it stood in 1997) prescribed a maximum sentence of five years RI and a fine of upto Rs. 50,000/- but had no minimum mandatory sentence.
  • The punishment for contravention in relation to cannabis plant or any other provision of the NDPS Act would be regulated by the unamended Section 20 of the NDPS Act as it stood before the 2001 amendment.
  • The unamended Section 20 of the NDPS Act imposed punishments for contravention related to cannabis plant or any other provision.
  • Legislature left discretion to court for minimum sentence
  • Court guided by principle of proportionality
  • Ends of justice met by reducing sentence to time served

Also Read: Discrepancy in Date of Birth: Court’s Legal Analysis


  • Bail bond of the appellant discharged
  • Appellant to pay fine of Rs. 20,000 within two months if not already deposited
  • In default of fine payment, appellant to undergo RI for six months
  • Appeal allowed in part
  • Sentence of five years RI reduced to period already undergone


Case Number: Crl.A. No.-001661-001661 / 2010

Click here to read/download original judgement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *