NDPS Offences to be cognizable and non-bailable
37. Offences to be cognizable and non-bailable. — (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974),–
(a) every offence punishable under this Act shall be cognizable;
(b) no person accused of an offence punishable for offences under section 19 or section 24 or section 27A and also for offences involving commercial quantity] shall be released on bail or on his own bond unless–
(i) the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release, and
(ii) where the Public Prosecutor opposes the application, the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.
(2) The limitations on granting of bail specified in clause (b) of sub-section (1) are in addition to the limitations under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or any other law for the time being in force on granting of bail.
36A. Offences triable by Special Courts.-– (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974),
(a) all offences under this Act which are punishable with imprisonment for a term of more than three years shall be triable only by the Special Court constituted for the area in which the offence has been committed or where there are more Special Courts than one for such area, by such one of them as may be specified in this behalf by the Government;
(b) where a person accused of or suspected of the commission of an offence under this Act is forwarded to a Magistrate under sub-section (2) or sub-section (2A) of section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), such Magistrate may authorise the detention of such person in such custody as he thinks fit for a period not exceeding fifteen days in the whole where such Magistrate is a Judicial Magistrate and seven days in the whole where such Magistrate is an Executive Magistrate:
Provided that in cases which are triable by the Special Court where such Magistrate considers
(i) when such person is forwarded to him as aforesaid; or
(ii) upon or at any time before the expiry of the period of detention authorised by him, that the detention of such person is unnecessary, he shall order such person to be forwarded to the Special Court having jurisdiction;
(c) the Special Court may exercise, in relation to the person forwarded to it under clause (b), the same power which a Magistrate having jurisdiction to try a case may exercise under section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), in relation to an accused person in such case who has been forwarded to him under that section;
(d) a Special Court may, upon perusal of police report of the facts constituting an offence under this Act or upon complaint made by an officer of the Central Government or a State Government authorised in his behalf, take cognizance of that offence without the accused being committed to it for trial.
(2) When trying an offence under this Act, a Special Court may also try an offence other than an offence under this Act with which the accused may, under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), be charged at the same trial.
(3) Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to affect the special powers of the High Court regarding bail under section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), and the High Court may exercise such powers including the power under cluase (b) of sub-section (1) of that section as if the reference to “Magistrate” in that section included also a reference to a Special Court constituted under section 36.
(4) In respect of persons accused of an offence punishable under section 19 or section 24 or section 27A or for offences involving commercial quantity the references in sub-section (2) of section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) thereof to “ninety days”, where they occur, shall be construed as reference to “one hundred and eighty days”:
Provided that, if it is not possible to complete the investigation within the said period of one hundred and eighty days, the Special Court may extend the said period up to one year on the report of the Public Prosecutor indicating the progress of the investigation and the specific reasons for the detention of the accused beyond the said period of one hundred and eighty days.
(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), the offences punishable under this Act with imprisonment for a term of not more than three years may be tried summarily.]
1. Subs. by Act 9 of 2001, s. 15, for section 36A (w.e.f. 2-10-2001).
Narcotics Control Bureau vs Krishan Lal And Others (SC)
Equivalent citations: 1991 AIR 558, 1991 SCR (1) 139
Section 37 as amended starts with a non-obstante clause stating that notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 no person accused of an offence prescribed therein shall be released on bail unless the conditions contained therein were satisfied. The NDPS Act is a special enactment as already noted it was enacted with a view to make stringent provision for the control and regulation of operations relating to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The being the underlying object and particularly when the provisions of Section 37 of NDPS Act are in negative terms limiting the scope of the applicability of the provisions of Cr. P.C. regarding bail, in our view, it cannot be held that the High Court’s powers to grant bail under Section 439 Cr. P.C. are not subject to the limitation mentioned under Section 37 of NDPS Act.