The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to a Syrian national, living in Delhi as a refugee since 2015, for his alleged involvement in the trafficking of more than 50 kgs of psychotropic drugs.
A bench comprising Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh noted the accused has been in custody since 2018 yet neither charges have been framed nor trial has commenced.
"What persuades us to pass an order in favour of the appellant is the fact that despite the rigors of Section 37 of the said Act, in the present case though charge sheet was filed on September 23, 2018, even the charges have not been framed nor trial has commenced.
"The manufacturer who sold the drugs to the appellant himself has been granted bail. We thus grant bail to the appellant on terms and conditions to the satisfaction of the Trial Court," the bench said.
The top court said that the accused will report every Monday in the forenoon alternate week and mark his presence before the police officer concerned.
"We take it that the passport and travel documents are already deposited by the appellant and if not deposited, the same should be deposited including the refugee certificate," the bench said.
The top court granted the relief to Mahmood Kurdeya, a chef by training, on his appeal challenging the Delhi High Court's order of dismissing his application for bail on the ground that he was involved in trafficking of commercial quantity of drugs.
According to the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB), it received secret information on September 24, 2018, that one Erbil Han (Turkish citizen) was smuggling large quantities of narcotics and psychotropic drugs from the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
He was apprehended at the Airport and thousands of tablets of Tramadol X-225 were recovered from his luggage.
He named Kurdeya as the person who gave him the drugs in his statement recorded under Section 67 of the NDPS Act.