New Delhi: The Supreme Court has termed ”wholly unnecessary” and ”excessive” the arrest of a woman in a narcotics case related to alleged recovery of 1,542 ‘Yaba’ tablets and said prima facie it finds police did not apply their mind while taking her into custody with three minor children.
‘Yaba’, which means ‘crazy medicine’ in Thai language, is a combination of methamphetamine and caffeine that is sold in tablet form. It is produced in Southeast and East Asia.
The apex court confirmed the interim bail granted to the woman, accused of committing an offence punishable under the Narcotic Drugs And Psychotropic Substances Act, in December last year in connection with the case lodged in West Bengal.
A bench of Justices S R Bhat and Dipankar Datta noted it was alleged that the woman was travelling with her husband in a car on May 28, 2022 when they were stopped and 1,542 ‘Yaba’ tablets were recovered from her husband. It noted that the woman, her husband and three minor children, including a 16-month-old baby, were detained.
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”The petitioner (woman) has no previous history of being involved in any offence. The arrest memo, placed on the record shows that the petitioner was taken into custody along with the children,” the bench said in its March 1 order.
The top court passed the order on a plea filed by the woman challenging the November last year order of the Calcutta High Court which had refused to grant her bail.
The apex court noted the state’s counsel had said the children were not arrested but keeping in mind the fact that they could not be separated from the mother, they too were taken into custody with her. ”This court is of the opinion that prima facie the police authorities did not apply their minds while taking into the custody petitioner, a woman with three minor children,” the bench observed.
It said the allegation was that prohibited substance was recovered from the possession of the husband and the petitioner was travelling with him. ”Taking into account these circumstances, the arrest of the petitioner-wife was wholly unnecessary – even excessive, as she had no previous history of alleged criminal behaviour,” the bench said.
”In view of the foregoing the interim bail granted by this court on December 16, 2022 is hereby confirmed. The petitioner shall continue to be enlarged on bail subject to such conditions as the trial court may impose,” it said.
While issuing notice on her plea in December last year, the apex court had said that pending the notice, she shall be enlarged on interim bail subject to conditions as may be imposed by the trial court.