Delhi High Court Rules Both Husband and Wife Equally Liable for Drugs Found in Bedroom

Drugs law insider in
Drugs law insider in

LI Network

Published on: 31 August 2023 at 18:28 IST

The Delhi High Court has issued a significant ruling concerning the attribution of drug possession within a couple’s shared space.

The court’s decision came in response to a case involving a husband and wife, both accused of being consumers of narcotic substances.

The case, titled “Dixita Golwala vs Narcotics Control Bureau,” revolved around the recovery of drugs from the couple’s residential bedroom.

Justice Jasmeet Singh, the sole judge presiding over the matter, asserted that the responsibility for the drugs discovered in the couple’s joint living quarters should not be solely placed on the husband. While the recovery might have been initiated by the husband, the drugs were found in an area jointly occupied by the couple, thus implying a shared liability.

The bail plea presented to the court was on behalf of the wife, the applicant and accused in the case. Both the husband and wife were acknowledged consumers of narcotic substances, leading the court to deduce that due to their marital relationship, they were likely aware of the presence of the contraband in their shared bedroom. Consequently, the court determined that both individuals were consciously in possession of the seized items.

The case stemmed from an alleged drug syndicate facilitated through the Telegram messaging app. The drugs were discovered both at the couple’s residence and within the husband’s office premises.

The wife’s legal representative argued that the recovery of the drugs was orchestrated by the husband and did not involve her. However, the court noted that there was no contention that the couple lived separately or had a strained relationship. Furthermore, as the recovery was made from a communal area rather than an individual, the court refuted the claim that the recovery was solely tied to the husband’s actions.

The court emphasized that due to the couple’s admitted narcotic consumption and their special relationship as a married couple, it was reasonable to infer their awareness and conscious possession of the illicit substances found in their shared bedroom.

The court’s decision extended to the observation that since the recovered quantity fell within the intermediate range, the strict bail conditions outlined in Section 37 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act would not apply.

Regarding the drug quantity recovered from the husband’s office, the court deemed the office premises to be distinct from the couple’s shared space, given the presence of separate floors and a staircase. Therefore, the court concluded that the recovery from the office could not be attributed to the wife.

Regarding the woman’s mobile chat conversations, the court recognized her potential involvement in dealing with larger quantities of drugs. However, it emphasized that the term “potential” did not fall under the scope of Section 37 of the NDPS Act.

In light of the woman not being a flight risk and the absence of evidence tampering concerns, the court granted her bail.

Related Post