Thursday 9 December 2021

Whether court should release accused on anticipatory bail if he is found in possession of Gutka?

  In case of applicants Wahid Khan and Amit Agrawal are concerned, First Information Report itself indicates that the applicant Wahid Khan has stored huge quantity of contraband articles namely 'Gutka' in the Godown of Amit Agrawal. The secret information itself spells out that applicant Wahid Khan was running Welcome Pan Shop, who has stored goods in the Godown of Amit Agrawal. Though it is argued that case of Amit Agrawal lies on the distant footing, however the investigation paper reveals that the Godown was taken on rent by Amit Agrawal from one Shri Khetanmal. Therefore, it cannot be said that Amit Agrawal who was in the actual possession of Godown, was totally noway concern with the storage of goods. Prima facie, it is evident that both of them co-jointly stored huge quantity of 'Gutka' and sainted tobacco articles which requires thorough investigation. {Para 15}

16. It is very unfortunate to note that despite prevailing ban from a decade, still the large number of cases are emerging in the State about seizure of 'Gutka' products. Sizable number of youths are mostly affected by free sale of 'Gutka'. It is noticed that there was fearless smuggling of 'Gutka' products from the neighboring States. Though the punishment for the offence was made more stringent, still in the quest of making quick money, 'Gutka' is freely made available at the cost of Society. Emphasis is on the point that it ruins the new generation which is a matter of great concern.

17. The seizure of 'Gutka' in large quantity itself postulates that they were not for personal consumption but for sale. In order to reach to the genesis, thorough investigation is necessary. Grant of pre-arrest protection would cut down the further process of investigation. The offence is having larger impact on the health of Society. Considering all these circumstances, I do not find that these are fit cases where judicial discretion can be exercised.

18. In view of the above, all bail applications stand rejected and disposed of.

Bombay High Court
Gajanan S/O Ashok Agrawal vs State Of Mah. Thr. Pso Ps ... on 7 December, 2021

Bench: V. G. Joshi
Read full Judgment here: Click here
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