Mumbai: A special court under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act has rejected the bail plea of a 55-year-old from whom the police had seized 7,040 bottles of cough syrup this year.
Shakir Retiwala in his bail plea said that he was falsely implicated in the case. His advocate argued that he could not be charged under stringent provisions of the NDPS Act and must be charged under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, if at all.
Additional Public Prosecutor Sumesh Panjwani appearing for the Anti-Narcotics Cell Ghatkopar Unit which had made the seizure argued against bail to Retiwala. The recovery was huge, Panjwani said and pointed that it comes under commercial quantity as it is around 5 kg. A1 kg of the substance is considered a commercial quantity. Cough syrup contains codeine phosphate, a psychotropic substance, therefore, attracting provisions of the NDPS Act, he told the court and cited an apex court judgment that if a psychotropic substance is mixed with a neutral substance, the weight of the entire mixture is to be considered.
Rejecting Retiwala’s bail plea, Additional Sessions Judge GB Gurao noted in his order that as per a government notification, a smaller quantity of codeine phosphate is 10 gms and commercial quantity 100 gms. “Therefore, in the present case, if the quantity of codeine phosphate is considered, it is obviously the commercial quantity. Therefore, stringent provision of section 37 of NDPS Act does apply,” he said. Further, the court considered the facts and circumstances of the case in its order denying bail.
Under Sec 37 of the NDPS Act which applies to commercial quantities, it is difficult to secure bail as the court must be satisfied that reasonable grounds exist to believe that the applicant is not guilty of the offence and will not commit any offence while on bail.
As per the prosecution case, on February 29 this year, during their patrolling in Shanta Jog Marg, Chembur, they had found Retiwala with 400 bottles of cough syrup. Thereafter, from his residence, they had seized another 6,640 bottles.