The Indian judiciary is an important pillar of criminal Justice System. Various Judgments pronounced on different aspects take form of case laws and become the guiding force for the law enforcement agencies. Eg. Recent landmark Judgment by the Hon’ble Apex Court in state of Kerala vs. Rajesh where the Hon’ble Court has cited twin condition for releasing accused on bail in NDPS matters has a bearing effect on enforcement of NDPS Act and prosecution.
A retracted confession may form the legal basis of a conviction if the court is satisfied that it was true and was voluntarily made. But it has been held that a Court shall not base a conviction on such a conviction without corroboration
It is for the limited purpose essentially confined to the question of releasing the accused on bail that the Court is called upon to see if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty and records its satisfaction about the existence of such grounds. Additionally, the Court has to record a finding that while on bail the accused is not likely to commit any offence and there should also exist some materials to come to such a conclusion.
A sentence awarded under the Act can be suspended by the appellate court only and strictly subject to the conditions spelt out in Section 37 of the Act as dealt with in this judgment.
An accused facing prosecution under NDPS Act for the offences mentioned in section 37 should be released on bail only when the conditions of section 37 of the NDPS act are strictly satisfied.
The court held that the provisions of Section 50 of the Act implicitly make it imperative and obligatory and cast a duty on the Investigating Officer (empowered officer) to ensure that search of the concerned person (suspect) is conducted in the manner prescribed by Section 50, by intimating to the concerned person about the existence of his right, that if he so requires, he shall be searched before a Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate and in case he so opts, failure to conduct his search before a Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate, would cause prejudice to an accused and render the recovery of the illicit article suspect and vitiate the conviction and sentence of an accused, where the conviction has been recorded only on the basis of the possession of the illicit article, recovered during a search conducted in violation of the provisions of Section 50 of the Act. The omission may not vitiate the trial as such.
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