SC: To prove case under NDPS Act, ownership of vehicle not required to be proved

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 10th September 2020, in the matter of Rizwan Khan v. The State of Chhattisgarh pronounced that to prove the case under the NDPS Act, the ownership of the vehicle is not required to be established and proved. What is required to be established and proved is the recovery of the contraband articles and the commission of an offence under the NDPS Act.

There is no law that the evidence of police officials, unless supported by independent evidence, is to be discarded and/or unworthy of acceptance. (Para 8.2)

The testimony of the official witnesses cannot be rejected on the ground of non-­corroboration by independent witness.  (Para 8.2)

Examination of independent witnesses is not an indispensable requirement and such non­examination is not necessarily fatal to the prosecution case. (Para 8.2)

To prove the case under the NDPS Act, the ownership of the vehicle is not required to be established and proved. It is enough to establish and prove that the contraband articles were found from the accused from the vehicle purchased by the accused. Ownership of the vehicle is immaterial. (Para 11)

What is required to be established and proved is the recovery of the contraband articles and the commission of an offence under the NDPS Act. (Para 11)

Merely because of the ownership of the vehicle is not established and proved and/or the vehicle is not recovered subsequently, trial is not vitiated, while the prosecution has been successful in proving and establishing the recovery of the contraband articles from the accused on the spot. (Para 11)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_10-Sep-2020

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik 

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