The verdict came following a petition filed by the Indian Harm Reduction Network (IHRN), a registered consortium of NGOs working for humane drug policies. The NGO had moved the HC after Ghulam Malik, accused in an NDPS case, was awarded the death sentence by a special court in December 2007, as it was his second. The petitioners challenged the constitutional validity of Section 31(A), which prescribes mandatory death sentence for certain drug offences upon subsequent conviction.
The NGO's counsel, Anand Grover, and advocate Vijay Hiremath, and the convict's advocate, H E Mooman, argued the provision was arbitrary and disproportionate. Grover pointed out that it prevented individualized sentencing and denied the accused a chance to be heard on the question of sentence.
In Satya Narayan Dash's affidavit, under secretary, finance ministry, had justified the death penalty saying it was applicable only to categories of offences involving commercial quantity of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.
Hetal Vyas, TNN Jun 17, 2011, 07.42am IST
Source : (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-06-17/mumbai/29669247_1_death-penalty-ghulam-malik-ndps-case)
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