In the matter of Sabarinath v. State of Kerala a plea filed against the dismissed the petition filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 challenging the Additional Sessions Judge’s order dated 23-3-2023 approving an application under Section 36-A(4) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 allowing the detention of the accused for an additional 180 days without providing the accused or his attorney with notice of the pending application. It was claimed that by extending the accused’s detention for an additional 180 days without notifying him of the filing of such an application and allowing him to object to the same, the Additional Sessions Judge violated the provisions of 36-A(4) of the NDPS Act.
Analysis of Court Decision
The impugned order only claimed that the accused was informed through the jail superintendent, who was ostensibly present, but there was no proof that the accused was informed about the application and given the chance to object. This was noted by the single-judge bench of the Kerala High Court. The Court emphasised that the application was submitted on the 176th day, and the contested orders were issued the very next day, and stated that there was no pressing need to resolve the case because there were still a few days remaining before the 180-day deadline.
The Court examined Section 36A(4) of the NDPS Act, which stipulates that investigations into NDPS problems must be concluded within 180 days rather than 90, in contrast to Section 167(2) of the CrPC, which allows for a term of one year if specific justifications are given. The Court determined that the impugned ruling was unlawful since the accused was not informed of the filing of the application or his right to object. It also stated that the order dated 31-3-2023 dismissing the request for statutory bail could not be upheld in court. The rulings allowing for an extension of incarceration and rejecting the accused’s request for bail were both revoked by the court. Under Section 167(2) of the CrPC, the Court granted the accused default bail with a list of requirements to be met.