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P&H High Court directs Punjab DGP to curb the spread and consumption of drugs in the state

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered the Director General of Police (Punjab) to take practical steps to curb the spread of drug supply and consumption in the state.

The High Court passed the order recently, while allowing the anticipatory bail plea of one Tarsem Singh, who was arrested in connection with a case registered at Police Station Samrala, District Ludhiana for offences under Sections 22 and 61 of the NDPS Act.

According to prosecution, on January 6, 2019 at about 2150 hrs, one Manpreet Singh was arrested by police at Main Chowk Samrala for possessing 100 mg Tramadol Hydrocholride Tablets.

During investigation, Manpreet disclosed that he had supplied tablets to one Channi Medicos of which petitioner Tarsem Singh was proprietor. Tarsem then approached the Court of Judge, Special Court, Ludhiana for grant of anticipatory bail, which was dismissed vide order dated March 25, 2019. Feeling aggrieved, Manpreet approached the High Court.

Raj Kumar Gupta, Counsel for the petitioner, contended that he has been wrongly involved in this case. He said the petitioner is running a medical store holding requisite licences, which are issued by the department of Drugs Control. Manpreet had not supplied any contraband to the petitioner, nor any such recovery had been effected from him. He said the petitioner has nothing to do with the contraband recovered from Manpreet Singh and he does not have any past criminal record. Tarsem has joined the investigation and rendered full cooperation, he added.

Mr Gupta contended that in the written reply filed on behalf of the state, it has been contended that as per information received from manufacturers of the recovered tablets, such tablets besides other materials had been sold to other medical store.

It has been further contended that no such medicines had been recovered from petitioner Tarsem Singh and further departmental enquiry has been initiated against the investigating officer Sukhwinder Pal Singh for not carrying out investigation in the case as per due procedure. The manufacturers had themselves created fake companies for supply of intoxicant tablets to such companies and in garb thereof handing over stock of such tablets to drug suppliers to facilitate the drug trafficking in State of Punjab as well as in other States and the persons responsible for running the manufacturing company have been booked in 8- 9 criminal cases, Counsel added.

J.S. Ghuman State Counsel on instructions from ASI Rajinder Singh has admitted the factum of Petitioner having joined the investigation further stating that though premises of the concern of petitioner was searched but no objectionable material was recovered. He has further admitted that departmental action is being taken against the investigating officer in this case for not conducting investigation in a proper and appropriate manner.

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A Single Bench of Justice HS Madaan while considering the Petition found that there is not enough material at this stage to connect the present petitioner with recovery or to show that he has committed any offence under the NDPS Act. Therefore the Court granted bail pre-arrest bail to the petitioner.

“It is directed that a thorough probe in the matter be got conducted by DGP Punjab to bust the drug cartel and to take effective steps to curb the spread of drug supply and consumption in the State by catching hold of the persons who are supplying the drugs by way of creating fake companies or otherwise and fake medical stores are being run without valid licenses,” the order read.

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