Drug dealers hazard to society, deserve no leniency: Supreme Court | India News

NEW DELHI: Observing that courts should not show any leniency to those dealing in drugs and convicted under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the plea of a Pakistani national for concurrent running of sentence in two separate cases in which he was convicted and awarded 15 and 12 years of imprisonment for possessing heroin and ruled that ordinarily the sentence would run consecutively if convictions are in separate cases.
A bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna said that drugs have a deadly impact on the society and the interest of the society as a whole should be taken into consideration while punishing the accused under NDPS Act.
Those who are dealing in narcotic drugs are instruments in causing death or in inflicting death blow to a number of innocent young victims who are vulnerable. Such accused causes deleterious effects and deadly impact on the society. They are hazard to the society,” it said
“…While awarding the sentence or punishment in case of NDPS Act, the interest of the society as a whole is required to be taken into consideration,” it said, while dismissing Pakistani national Mohd Zahid’s plea.
Zahid was arrested in 1999 and convicted by a Amritsar court for smuggling four kilos of heroin and was awarded a 12 year jail term. While he was undertrail, Zahid was caught again by Delhi Police and 750 gram of heroin was recovered and he was convicted and awarded a 15-year jail term by a Delhi court in 2002 for the repeat offence. He, thereafter, approached Delhi HC for concurrent running of sentence but his plea was rejected. Subsequently, he approached the SC. The SC, however, held that a convict cannot demand concurrent running of sentences if convictions were in different cases and it is discretion of the court to allow concurrent and not consecutive sentences.
Enumerating Section 427 of the CrPC, the bench said the power conferred on the court to order concurrent sentence is discretionary and can only be done in appropriate cases. It said, ordinarily the subsequent sentence would commence at the expiration of the first term of imprisonment unless the court directs the subsequent sentence to run concurrently with the previous sentence.
“The general rule is that where there are different transactions, different crime numbers and cases have been decided by different judgments, concurrent sentence can’t be awarded under Section 427… the court has the power and discretion to issue a direction that all the subsequent sentences run concurrently with the previous sentence, however discretion has to be exercised judiciously depending on the nature of the offence or the offences,” it said.

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