The Bombay High Court has recently in the case of Ibrahim Khwaja Miya Sayyed, Raju v. State of Maharashtra held that the weight of seeds leaves and stalks of the plant have to be excluded while deciding the extent of culpability under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act). The Court said that as per Section 2(iii)(b) of the NDPS Act, Ganja means the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant excluding the seeds and leaves when not accompanied by the tops. The Court further said, “The fact that the entire substance was weighed together without quantifying the weight of the flowering or fruiting tops, casts a doubt whether ‘Ganja’ seized from the Applicant was of commercial quantity as to attract provision under Section 20(c) of the NDPS Act.”
The case was based on the premises that the applicant-accused was in possession of more than 20 kgs of ganja, which amounted to commercial quantity as per the NDPS Act. The Court checked from the records that the investigating agency had not drawn samples independently from both bags but had mixed together the entire contraband in both bags from which one sample was drawn and sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory for analysis.
The Court observed that “The records prima facie reveal that the total weight of ‘Ganja’ allegedly seized from the Applicant was 21 kgs., which is 1kg in excess of the quantity specified by the Government in the notification. As noted above, the substance, which was seized contained leaves, seeds, stalks and flowering fruiting tops. The total weight of the substance, which was seized was 21 kilograms and this includes the weight of leaves, seeds and stalks, which prima facie were not accompanied by the flowering or fruiting part.”
The accused was therefore granted bail on furnishing bonds to the sum of Rs. 50,000.