:: Anti-Narcotic Law and Practice in Pakistan…..convict of 25 years sentence…100 KG Charas…appeal not heared for 2 years….held a "Dangerous Criminal" and not entitled for suspension of sentence.

:: Anti-Narcotic Law and Practice in Pakistan…..convict of 25 years sentence…100 KG Charas…appeal not heared for 2 years….held a “Dangerous Criminal” and not entitled for suspension of sentence.

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.864/2009.

RANA SHAHID MASIH VS STATE

Crl.Misc.No.1/2011.

Through the instant application, Rana Shahid Masih has

sought suspension of sentence (imprisonment for life with fine of

Rs.10,00,000/-, in default to further undergo six months simple

imprisonment) awarded by learned Judge Special Court, Control

of Narcotic Substances, Faisalabad vide judgment dated

27.04.2009 recorded in a case arising out of FIR No.14/2005

dated 17.12.2005 under section 9-C of the Control of Narcotic

Substances Act, 1997 registered at police station ANFFaisalabad,

wherein, allegation against the petitioner was of

possessing 100-kilogram of charas, at the time of raid and

subsequent arrest.

2. It has been argued by learned counsel for the petitioner

that appeal of the petitioner could not be decided despite lapse of

two years and delay in the decision of the appeal can not be

attributed to the petitioner. The learned counsel further argued

that considering the heavy backlog, the appeal of the petitioner

is also not likely to be fixed and decided in the near future, as

such the learned counsel pleaded that in view of section 426(1-

A)(c) Cr.P.C. the petitioner has become entitled for the

suspension of sentence and release on bail, on statutory ground

of delay in decision of the appeal.

3. Conversely the learned Special Prosecutor representing

Anti Narcotic Force assisted by learned Deputy Prosecutor

General, after opposing the case of the petitioner on merits,

strenuously argued that proviso of section 426(1-A)(c) Cr.P.C.

specially excludes the persons who are hardened, desperate or

dangerous criminals, and present petitioner being involved in

transportation of a huge quantity of narcotic (Charas) is covered

by the phrase “dangerous criminal”, as such is not entitled for

the grant of bail, on suspension of his sentence on statutory

ground alone.

4. We have heard the arguments of learned counsel for the

parties at considerable length and perused the available record.

5. So far as merits of the case are concerned, we would not

like to comment much, as any observation at this stage, may

cause prejudice to either of the parties at the time of final

hearing of the main appeal. However, the moot point in this case

is, whether the petitioner, who is involved in the offences covered

by Control of Narcotic Substance Act, 1997, could be termed as

“dangerous criminals” and while declaring him so, could he be

denied the benefit of Section 426(1-A)(c) Cr.P.C.

6. The word “dangerous” used in proviso to Section 426(1-

A)(c) Cr.P.C. should be construed in its ordinary sense, which

means horrible effects of an offence against society at large.

Needless to mention here that a distinction is to be made

between an offence which is committed against an individual like

theft/injury and an offence, which is directed against the society

as a whole for the purposes of bail. The effects of smuggling and

unlawful selling of narcotics are disastrous on the moral, social

fabric of the society and accused of such offences had the

potential of destroying the health and family life of a large

number of people in addition to brining a bad name for the

country. The heroin/charas (or other substance covered by

CNSA), were declared dangerous drugs in 1930 basically on

account of their dangerous effects on society. Meaning of word

“dangerous” can be ascertained in the light of the conduct of

accused at the time he was arrested, his previous conduct,

nature of offence coupled with its effect on society, his betrayal

with reference to moral duties. If the word “dangerous criminal”

is to be considered as previous convict, then the word

“dangerous criminal” used in proviso of Section 426(1-A)(c)

Cr.P.C. would become completely redundant and meaningless.

Therefore, opinion on this point could be formed upon the

material available in case under trial as well any other material,

which may be produced by the prosecution. In an earlier case

“MUHAMMAD ASGHAR versus THE STATE” (1992 MLD 1554),

this Court had already declared that persons dealing in large

quantity of heroin could safely be termed as “dangerous”, and

while holding so, accused despite expiry of statutory period, was

refused bail.

7. A Full Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan,

in the case “THE STATE through Deputy Director, Anti- Narcotics

Force, Karachi versus MOBIN KHAN” (2000 SCMR 299), has held

that “Third proviso to subsection (1) of S.497, Cr.P.C., cannot be

pressed into service in view of subsection (1) of S.51 read with

Cls. (b) & (c) of S.9 of the Control of Narcotic Substances Act, 1997,

in a case in which the quantity of narcotic drug or psychotropic

substance or controlled substance exceeds one Kg. and which

may entail, inter alia, death sentence.”

8. For what has been discussed above, we have no doubt in

our mind to hold that the petitioner, who has been convicted for

an offence which was likely to destroy the fabric of society. Such

narcotic peddlers commit these crimes not only consciously but

also in a well planned manner, irrespective of its hazardous

impact on the society. Therefore, seen from any angle, the

petitioner can be considered a “dangerous criminal”, within the

meaning of Ist proviso to Section 426 (1-A)(c) Cr.P.C., and as

such, he cannot claim benefit of the said proviso of law. The

instant petition, being devoid of any merit, is accordingly

dismissed.

(SH. AHMAD FAROOQ) (MUHAMMAD QASIM KHAN)

JUDGE

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