Dismissing a batch of bail applications moved by those accused of trading in heroin, Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed directed the trial courts to invoke the criteria of "proportionality" of a sentence period while granting bail in cases concerning the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) Act.
The ruling comes in the wake of the recent heroin-cocaine consumption controversy involving Rahul Mahajan, son of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan.
According to the prosecution, the three accused - Prakash, Akhilesh alias Pappu and Nathu Lal - were nabbed by Narcotics Bureau sleuths on March 14, 2003 when they were allegedly trying to deliver a consignment of 1.3 kg of heroin to an unidentified person at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station.
The accused, who pleaded they were innocent and were being falsely implicated in the case, had earlier moved the Additional Sessions Judge for bail.
But the judge rejected their bail plea by applying the principle of "proportionality of sentence period" as the accused had been booked under Section 21 (B) of the NDPS Act.
Under this section, a person upon conviction for being in possession of "intermediate" quantity of narcotic substances can be sentenced for a period that may extend up to 10 years besides being fined upto Rs one lakh.
After the trial court rejected the bail pleas, the accused appealed to the High Court.