Man accused of possessing drugs released on default bail

The single bench Justice Kh Nobin, High Court of Manipur granted the default bail to the accused Jangpao Haokip.

A man arrested under ND and PS Act for allegedly possessing illegal drugs was released on default bail by the High Court of Manipur after he challenged the bail order on the ground that he being a daily wager could not simply pay the bail amount.   

The single bench Justice Kh Nobin, High Court of Manipur granted the default bail to the accused namely Jangpao Haokip, 40, son of Holkhojan Haokip of Chalhmol village in Tengnoupal district. He was arrested by Moreh police with the allegation of possessing illegal drugs on March 1.

Haokip was released on bail by the Special Court (ND&PS), Manipur on August 31 after furnishing a PR Bond of Rs 5 lakh with two sureties of like amount and deposit to the Court a sum of Rs 2 lakh which would be refundable after disposal of the trial before the High Court of Manipur.

However, Haokip stated that the bail order of the special court ND&PS amounts to denial of bail itself and that the insistence of depositing Rs. 2 lakh is not only harsh but oppressive

In his petition, Jangpao Haokip stated that the petition was filed on the inter-alia ground that he is a poor farmer and living on a daily wage basis. He stated that “in his living conditions, the bail order imposed by the Special Court amounts to denial of bail itself; that the insistence of depositing Rs 2, 00,000 is not only harsh but oppressive”.

The petition stated that section 441 of the Cr.P.C does not contemplate a power of demanding cash security by the Special Court (ND and PS), Manipur. It stated that the release of the petitioner on bail under Section 167 (2) of Cr.P.C is rendered a virtual denial and that the imposition of conditions which the petitioner being a poor farmer cannot fulfil, is violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

In his petition, he charged the Moreh police of arresting him while he was returning from Moreh towards his village by hiring a black Conda motorcycle. On his way, a police commando team stopped him and checked but no illegal substance was found, it stated. Thereafter, he was handed to Moreh police on allegation of illegal drug possession, it added. 

In response to the petition, the HC, on Monday, order Jangpao Haokip’s release on a default bail, provided that he is ready to furnish PR bond to the satisfaction of the Special Judge, ND and PS, Manipur. While releasing him, the court directed him to co-operate with the investigating agency and that he should report to the police station concerned as and when called for investigation or interrogation.

On non-cooperation, the consequences including cancellation of the bail should follow, for which it is open to the police to move appropriate application before the Special Court (ND&PS), Manipur, the court order stated. He should not leave Manipur without permission from the High Court, it added.

First Published:Dec. 23, 2020, 10:37 p.m.

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