Why bail proceedings for offences under NDPS Act are complex and open to abuse

Synopsis: Conditions of granting bail under NDPS act are very stringent. Amendments should be introduced to it to make it justiciable. 


As highlighted by the present case of Aryan Khan, the interpretation of provisions for bail under NDPS act has resulted in many suffering behind bars for years. 

Must ReadDrug usage and the NDPS Act – Explained, pointwise
What are the issues related to bail under the NDPS Act? 

Under this act, the innocent-until-proven-guilty principle is reversed to the guilty-until-proven-innocent principle. The burden of proof of proving himself innocent is on accused.  

Section 37 places limitations on granting of bail for offences under the NDPS Act, through 2 conditions:  

  1. Firstly, that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of such an offence.  
  2. Secondly, the person is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. 
Read more: Should the NDPS Act be amended?

Words reasonable grounds in the above Act are not defined in the law, so it is subject to judicial intervention. Further, the ambiguity in interpretation and improper ground of denying bail like WhatsApp chats and notes on mobile phones makes it more complicated.   

 Chief Justice of India spoke the sorry state of affairs in lawmaking at the Independence Day celebrations this year, said “ We don’t know for what purpose they(laws) are made. They(Laws) are causing a lot of litigation and inconvenience to the people, courts…” 

Source: This post is based on the article “Why bail proceedings for offences under NDPS Act are complex and open to abuse” published in Indian Express on 30th October 2021.

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