Then notice under Section 50 of the NDPS Act was given to the accused and appellant has consented to search the same by the NCB officials. Thereafter the bag was searched and the officers have found 13 Kg. of charas. The charas was divided into two portions of 6½ Kg. each and two packets were made which were marked as ‘X’ and ‘Y’ respectively. From each of these packets, two samples of 25 grams were drawn. The 2 Crl.A.No.688 of 2013 samples drawn from the packet – Mark ‘X’ – were marked as ‘X1’ and ‘X2’ and the samples drawn from packet – Mark ‘Y’ – were marked as ‘Y1’ and ‘Y2’. Thereafter all the four samples were sealed in a polythene bag by heat sealing process and were put in paper envelopes and sealed with paper seals, signed by NCB officials as well as the appellant-accused Jeet Ram. On each sample seal no.6 of NCB was affixed on all the four corners and the bulk charas in packets ‘X’ and ‘Y’ was sealed in paper parcels with six seals each. The seals were handed over to PW-1 and the all the samples and the parcels were signed by NCB officials and accused. Further, in the statement recorded as contemplated under Section 67 of the NDPS Act, the appellant has admitted that for various reasons he was indulged in the trade of charas to increase his income. Thereafter a Panchnama was drawn which was signed by the appellant and he was arrested on 19.06.2001. The two samples of ‘X1’ and ‘Y1’ along with a letter were sent through PW-2 Hayat Singh to Chemical Analyst for analysis, who has vide his report opined that both the samples were of charas. On the said basis, the appellant-accused was charged and challaned for the offence under Section 20 of the NDPS Act.
acquitted the appellant-accused mainly on the grounds that – the prosecution case was not supported by any independent witness; the prosecution has failed to show that the seized charas was recovered from the dhaba of the appellant-accused and further there is no evidence to show that the appellant-accused was found in possession of the charas, as pleaded by the prosecution; there was non compliance of Section 50 of the NDPS Act; as the samples were handed over to PW-1 Rakesh Goyal who himself gave the sample to PW-2 for carrying the same to the Central Laboratory at Delhi and these seals remained with the Director, as such the chances of tampering could not be ruled out and also on the ground that the case of the prosecution was unnatural and improbable.
High Court by reappreciating the evidence on record has come to conclusion that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and also has proved that 13 Kg. of charas was recovered from the possession of the appellant-accused, who was managing the dhaba in question, and set aside the judgment of the trial court and ordered conviction
Apex court held that -. Though the ratio laid down that the appellate court would not interfere with the judgment of acquittal only because another view is possible but at the same time whether the findings recorded by the trial court in support of acquittal are valid or not is a matter which is to be considered with reference to facts of each case and evidence on record. – The trial court acquitted the appellant mainly on the ground that prosecution case was not supported by independent witnesses; conscious possession was not proved; non-compliance of Section 50 of the NDPS Act; proper procedure was not followed in sending the samples for examination and the case of the prosecution was unnatural and improbable-Section 50 of the NDPS Act is applicable only in the case of personal search, as such, there is no basis for the findings recorded by the trial court that there was non-compliance of provision under Section 50 of the NDPS Act. Even with regard to the finding of the trial court that the case of the prosecution was not supported by independent witnesses, it is clear from the evidence on record that the incident had happened at about 10:30 p.m. in a dhaba which is away from the village site and all other persons who are found in the dhaba were the servants of the accused. It is also clear from the evidence on record that Suresh Kumar and Attar Singh examined on behalf of the appellant are closely related to the accused, as such, they could not be said to be independent witnesses. – The case of the prosecution was found to be unnatural and improbable by the trial court only on the ground that 13 Kg. of charas was lying in open in a gunny bag. The trial court found that it is not believable that any person would keep such a huge quantity of charas in open condition. – It is clear from the evidence of prosecution witnesses that the officials of NCB got information that trafficking of charas was going on in the area in question.as rightly held by the High Court, that the trial court totally lost sight of the fact that on 19.06.2001 JMIC, Theog had also appended his signatures on the samples as well as bulk parcels and, therefore, there was no chance of tampering of the samples. Further, there was no such suggestion of tampering either put to PW-1 Rakesh Goyal or to PW-2 Hayat Singh.For the aforesaid reasons, we are of the clear view that the view taken by the trial court was not at all possible, having regard to the evidence on record and findings which are erroneously recorded contrary to evidence on record were rightly set aside by the High Court.