Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 15 of 2012 (Under Article 32 of the Constiturion of India). Case: Budh Singh Vs State of Haryana and Anr.. Supreme Court (India)

Case NumberWrit Petition (Criminal) No. 15 of 2012 (Under Article 32 of the Constiturion of India)
CounselFor Appellant: K.G. Bhagat, Divya Shukla, Dattatray Vyas and Vineet Bhagat, Advs. and For Respondents: Nupur Choudhary and Kamal Mohan Gupta, Advs.
JudgesP. Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi, JJ.
IssueNarcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 - Sections 15, 32A; Representation of the People Act, 1951 - Section 7; Explosive Substances Act, 1908 - Section 4; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1898 - Section 401; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973 - Sections 432433; Constitution of India - Articles 14, 20(1), 21, 32
Citation2013 (1) ACR 975, AIR 2013 SC 2386, 2013 (2) ALD 517 (Cri), 2013 (81) AllCC 909, 2013 (3) ALT 154 (Cri), 2013 (2) BomCR 733 (Cri), 2013 CriLJ 3061, 2013 (2) JCC 75, JT 2013 (10) SC 324, 2013 (2) NCC 13, 2013 (2) RCR 308 (Cri), 2013 (3) SCALE 366, 2013 (3) SCC 742
Judgement DateMarch 11, 2013
CourtSupreme Court (India)


Ranjan Gogoi, J.

1. The Petitioner has been convicted Under Section 15 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (hereinafter for short "the NDPS Act") by an order of the learned Sessions Judge, Sirsa, Haryana dated 27.7.1990. He has been sentenced to undergo RI for a period of 10 years and also to pay a fine of Rs. 1,00,000/- (One lakh only), in default, to suffer further RI for a period of 3 years. The said order has been confirmed in appeal. The Petitioner, on the date of the filing of the present writ petition, had undergone custody for a period of more than 7 years. He contends that taking into account the remissions which would have been due to him under different Government Notifications/Orders issued from time to time he would have been entitled to be released from prison. However, by virtue of the provisions of Section 32A of the NDPS Act, the benefit of such remissions have been denied to him resulting in his continued custody. Consequently, by means of this writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution, he has challenged the constitutional validity of Section 32A of the NDPS Act, inter-alia, on the ground that the said provision violates the fundamental rights of the Petitioner under Articles 14, 20(1) and 21 of the Constitution.

2. Insofar as the challenge founded on violation of Articles 14 and 21 is concerned, the issue stands squarely covered by the decision of this Court in Dadu alias Tulsidas v. State of Maharashtra (2000) 8 SCC 437. The following extract from para 15 from the decision in Dadu (supra) which deals with the contentions advanced on the basis of Articles 14 and 21 and the views of this Court on the said contentions amply sums up the situation.

The distinction of the convicts under the Act and under other statutes, insofar as it relates to the exercise of executive powers Under Sections 432 and 433 of the Code is concerned, cannot be termed to be either arbitrary or discriminatory being violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. Such deprivation of the executive can also not be stretched to hold that the right to life of a person has been taken away except, according to the procedure established by law. It is not contended on behalf of the Petitioners that the procedure prescribed under the Act for holding the trial is not reasonable, fair and just. The offending section, insofar as it relates to the executive in the matter of suspension, remission and commutation of...

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