High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Surjit Singh @ Jeeta v. State of Punjab - CRM-40490.M-2006  RD-P&H 4271 (18 July 2006)
Surjit Singh @ Jeeta vs State of Punjab
Present : Mr.S.K.Bawa, Advocate, for
Mr.Gurcharan Dass, Advocate,
for the petitioner.
The petitioner seeks grant of regular bail in case FIR No.278, dated 7.12.2004, registered under Sections 22/61/85 of the NDPS Act, at Police Station Division No.6, Ludhiana.
Counsel for the petitioner contends that the petitioner has been falsely implicated. He has been behind bars since 7.12.2004 and though the recovery is of 1.020 kg. of smack, a commercial quantity, the petitioner be released on bail.
I have heard learned counsel for the petitioner and perused the paper book.
The quantity of narcotics, allegedly recovered, is a commercial quantity. An earlier petition, filed by the petitioner, namely, Crl.Misc.No.42200.M of 2005, was dismissed as withdrawn.
No fresh ground has come into existence that would require a reconsideration of the petitioner's plea for bail.
However, the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Salem Advocate Bar Association, Tamil Nadu vs Union of India, 2005(3) CCC 420, has issued directions, with respect to disposal of criminal trials. Relevant part of the judgment reads as follows :- " V. Criminal Trials and Criminal Appeals to Subordinate Courts
(a) Criminal Trials
Crl.Misc.No.40490.M of 2006 ::2::
1. Criminal Trials should be classified based on offence, sentence and whether the accused is on bail or in jail. Capital punishment, rape and cases involving sexual offences or dowry deaths should be kept in Track I. Other cases where the accused is not granted bail and is in jail, should be kept in Track II.
Cases which affect a large number of persons such as cases of mass cheating, economic offences, illicit liquor tragedy and food adulteration cases etc. should be kept in Track III. Offences which are tried by special courts such as POTA, TADA, NDPS, Prevention of Corruption Act, etc. should be kept in Track IV. Track V-all other offences.
The endeavour should be to complete Track I cases within a period of nine months. Track-II and Track-III cases within twelve months and Track IV within fifteen months. "
A perusal of the aforementioned judgment makes it abundantly clear that cases, under the NDPS Act, fall within Track IV.
Trials, with respect to cases falling in Track IV, are required to be disposed of within 15 months. The situation in the present case, namely, the pendency of the trial for more than 1.1/2 years, cannot be countenanced. Expeditious conclusion of trials is the essence of administration of justice, moreso where accused are incarcerated.
Delay in conclusion of trials results in torturous consequences for all, accused, complainants and witnesses.
In view of what has been stated above, the present Crl.Misc.No.40490.M of 2006 ::3::
petition is disposed of with a direction that the trial Court shall make every endeavour to conclude the trial expeditiously, preferably within six months from the next date of hearing. Needless to say that the aforementioned direction would be subject to the accused cooperating during the trial.
( RAJIVE BHALLA )
July 18, 2006. JUDGE
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