A 42-year-old Nigerian national has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for trying to export 2.8 kg heroin out of India by a Delhi court which took a lenient view towards him considering his clean antecedents.
Special NDPS Judge Deepak Garg, while awarding the minimum sentence for the offence, also referred to an observation made by the Supreme Court in which it had said while punishing a convict, he must be given an opportunity to reform himself.
“Within the parameters of the law an attempt has to be made to afford an opportunity to the individual to reform and lead the life of a normal, useful member of society and make his contribution in that regard.
“Denying such opportunity to a person who has been found to have committed offence in the facts and circumstances placed on record would only have a hardening attitude towards his fellow beings and towards society at large. Such situation has to be avoided within the permissible limits of law,” the apex court had observed.
Referring to this observation, the ASJ said, “In view of the fact that convict has no previous criminal antecedents and the fact that he has family members who are dependent upon him, he deserves lenient view to be taken by the court.”
The sessions court also imposed a fine of Rs 2.5 lakh on Nigerian national Patrick Umechukwu, who was arrested on June 8, 2011 by Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) raiding team at a courier company’s Delhi office where he had gone to inquire about the status of a parcel sent by him.
The raiding team, which had already reached there after it got a tip off, caught Patrick, searched the parcel and found 2.8 kg heroin in it, the prosecution said, adding that later when his house was searched, 180 gm heroin was also recovered.
The court, while holding him guilty under provisions of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, said, “Prosecution has been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that accused had booked the parcel from which 2.8 kg heroin was recovered and hence he made an attempt to export the said quantity of contraband out of India and further that 180 gm heroin was recovered from his residential premises.”
During the proceedings, Patrick had denied the allegations levelled against him and claimed he was falsely implicated.
( Source – PTI )