New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that there is no requirement to produce before the trial court the entire contraband material that has been seized provided the existence of the seized material is established on the record and the same is neither “doubted or disputed”.
“If the seizure of the material is otherwise proved on record and is not even doubted or disputed the entire contraband material need not be placed before the court” said a bench of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Vineet Saran in their recent judgment.
It further said that if the seizure is otherwise proved, what was required to be proved was the fact that the “samples taken from and out of the contraband material were kept intact, that when the samples were submitted for forensic examination the seals were intact, that the report of the forensic experts shows the potency, nature and quality of the contraband material and that based on such material, the essential ingredients constituting an offence are made out.”
The court said this while setting aside Rajasthan High Court’s judgment by which it had acquitted one Sahi Ram on the ground that the entire contraband material was not produced before the trial court and only two samples – packets and one bag of poppy straw weighing 2.5 kg was produced and exhibited before the trial court.
The Rajasthan government had moved the top court against the order of the high court. Rajasthan was represented by senior advocate Dr. Manish Singhvi. Sahi Ram was convicted by the trial court on August 1, 2015 and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 15 years and fine of `1,50,000 in default whereof he was directed to suffer further rigorous imprisonment for one year.
The police had recovered 223 kg of poppy straw from seven bags which was being taken from Madhya Pradesh to Jodhpur. The police had intercepted the contraband on June 20, 2006. Restoring the conviction and sentencing of Sahi Ram to 10 years imprisonment, the top court directed the accused to surrender within seven days.