In the case of X v. State of Meghalaya, a bail application was submitted in accordance with Sections 439 and 167(2) of the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure and Section 37 of the 1985 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. On 16-03-2023, a vehicle was intercepted with five plastic soap boxes containing yellowish powder, which tested positive for heroin. The quantity seized was around 55.68 gms. A person was arrested and admitted to bringing the consignment to Shillong. The accused, an HIV-positive patient, was arrested. A charge sheet was filed, and the accused sought bail on three grounds: incomplete charge sheet, lack of evidence linking the accused to the offence, and the HIV-positive patient needing specialized medical treatment.
Analysis of Court Decision
The Meghalaya High Court’s single judge bench, led by Justice W. Diengdoh, granted bail to the accused in light of the fact that she is a woman, has HIV and needs specialised care.
The quantity that was seized was of the intermediate range, according to the Court, therefore there was no dispute as to whether the requirement under Section 37 of the NDPS Act would apply. The Court also stated that given the question of conscious possession and the Call Data Record analysis have to be proven in the Trial Court, it is still too early to draw any conclusions. According to the Court’s review of Section 437 of the CrPC, bail may be granted in situations when the offence is not subject to bail. Additionally, the Court stated that Subsection 1 refers to an accused individual being freed on bond. The Court further pointed out that under the proviso to clauses (i) and (ii), an arrested individual who ordinarily could not be released on bond might be freed on bail if they were under 16 years old, a woman, or were ill or infirm. As a result, the court freed him from prison on the grounds that She had HIV and required particular care.
CASE NAME – X v. State of Meghalaya, Bail Application No. 14 of 2023