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HC rejects bail plea of person detained for drug trafficking

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Srinagar: While rejecting the bail application of an alleged “drug trafficker”, J&K High Court on Tuesday held that preventive detention is devised to afford protection to society and not to punish a man for having done something.

Justice M A Chowdhary while rejecting the bail application of the detained trafficker Barkat Ali Malik, son of Ghulam Hussain Malik of Bundnara (Lahori-check) Narbal Badgam, held that the authorities on the subject have consistently taken the view that preventive detention is devised to afford protection to society.

“The object is not to punish a man for having done something but to intercept before he does it and to prevent him from doing so,” Justice Chowdhary said.

The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir had on January 11, 2022 passed an order against drug trafficker calling for detention under Section 3 of Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1988.

The accused had challenged the order pleading “the grounds of detention are vague and mere assertions of the detaining authority and no prudent man can make an effective and meaningful representation against these allegations”.

The court scrutinizing the detention record said that two FIRs are registered against him — bearing FIR No. 02/2017 under Section 8/21 NDPS Act registered at Police station Lar Ganderbal and FIR No. 35/2020 under Section 8/22 NDPS Act were registered at Police Station Magam.

It found that the detenue is also involved in as many as three other cases registered in the area.

It said “the contraband seized from the detenue indicates that he is fully involved in the illegal trade in the organized manner which is a great threat for sustaining the conservative values of the society. It has been observed that the activities of the detenue have posed a serious threat to the health and welfare of the people of the area”.

Citing statements from the detective agencies, the court said “the reports received from the field agencies are suggestive of the fact that the detenue is dealing with illegal business of narcotics and in order to carry out this illegal trade, the detenue is exploiting the immature minds of the younger generation by making them habitual addicts”.

It observed that the drug mafia, of which the detenue is an active member, is hell-bent to spoil the life and career of younger generations by selling drugs to them for hefty amounts. Therefore, it was found imperative to detain the detenue under the provisions of the Act.

The right of personal liberty, according to the court, is the most precious right, guaranteed under the Constitution. “A person is not to be deprived of his personal liberty, except in accordance with procedures established under law and the procedure as laid down in the case ‘Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India, (1978), is to be just and fair,” said the court.

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