Observing that the menace of drug trade is fast growing in West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court has said that it cannot be tackled unless the investigating agency is diligent and is serious in taking appropriate steps against the bigger players.
Rapping the state police for not properly probing the cases following arrests of couriers of drugs to find out kingpins of the narcotics trade, a division bench comprising justices Sanjib Banerjee and Aniruddha Roy observed that it appears that gaps are deliberately left for the bigger fish to slip out.
The bench on Friday directed that a copy of the order in the present case of bail application of an accused be forwarded to the chief secretary of West Bengal and another to the state’s director-general of police for appropriate measures to be taken.
The division bench observed that it is alarming that some matters are presented by the investigating agency in such a way that the court has no option but to grant bail.
Unfortunately, for reasons that are not difficult to understand, the investigating agency takes no steps to unearth any material against the bigger players, the division bench said.
“In the present case, there is no independent material against the present petitioner, though it is more than likely that the present petitioner may be the kingpin of the racket,” the bench observed, adding that the courts cannot, however, go by impression and hard facts and material are necessary even to form a prima facie opinion.
The court said that as far as the present petitioner Hiten Roy is concerned, since there is no independent material against him other than the alleged statement of a person arrested upon being found in possession of drugs, the petitioner is entitled to bail.
The petitioner was directed to be released on bail upon furnishing a bond of ₹ 50,000 with two sureties of like amount, one of whom must be local, to the satisfaction of the appropriate court in Cooch Behar district.
The petitioner will not leave the district of Cooch Behar without the prior permission of the trial court, the division bench directed, adding that Roy will attend every date fixed for trial and any unexplained absence will entitle the trial court to cancel the bail.
Hiten Roy, alias Hiru, was arrested by Dinahata police in Cooch Behar district in January and was charged under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and the Arms Act.