In the Matter of Jopbenik Siangshai v. State of Meghalaya a request for bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure from 1973 for a violation of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act from 1985.
The police had set up a roadblock and had intercepted the abovementioned vehicle at Umkiang after obtaining information that a drug dealer was driving a Maruti Car 800 with a companion from Kalain, Cachar to Umkiang Village in Meghalaya on March 6, 2023. The orange colour powder materials, which the police collected in a packet including seven soap boxes and were thought to contain contraband or illegal psychotropic chemicals, were subsequently identified as heroin after a preliminary test. As a result, the people inside the stated car were taken into custody. During the course of the inquiry, the passengers of the accused car told the police that they had been given specific instructions by the applicant to pick up the shipment from Kalain.
Contention from Accused
As a result, the case filed under Sections 21(b) and 29 of the NDPS Act also led to the detention of the current applicant. After then, one of the co-accused was granted bail by the Court of Special Judge, NDPS, Khliehriat on May 18, 2023. According to the theory of parity, the present applicant should have the same advantage as one of the co-accused since that person was freed on bail, the present applicant was asking for a bail award under Section 439 of the CrPC. The incompleteness of the charge sheet submitted by the investigating officer was another justification for the applicant’s application. The applicant claims that the request for the filing of the supplementary charge sheet following receipt of the pertinent FSL report amounts to an incomplete charge sheet, which could also be described as having no charge sheet at all. Based on this argument, the applicant claims that he was in custody for more than 100 days and was therefore entitled to default bail.
Analysis of Court Decision
The Single Judge bench of Meghalaya High Court Justice W. Diengdoh allowed the application and released the applicant on bail.
The applicant was granted bail by the court subject to a number of conditions, including that he does not flee with the evidence or witnesses, that he cooperate with the investigating officer, that he does not leave the jurisdiction of Meghalaya without the investigating officer’s permission, and that he provides a personal bond in the amount of Rs. 2,00,000 with one surety in the same amount to the satisfaction of the investigation. The Court further stated that failure to comply with any of the prescribed restrictions would result in the bail being automatically revoked.