INDIA: COURT AWARDS DEATH PENALTY IN DRUG CASE FOR THE FIRST TIME
January 28, 2012: in the first ever case of capital punishment in a drug crime, a special Narcotics court in Chandigarh, India, awarded death penalty to a person while sentencing an African national to 15-years of Rigorous Imprisonment (RI).
The court of Special Judge (Narcotic Drugs and Physchotropic Substances Act) Shalini Singh Nagpal awarded death sentence to Paramjeet Singh for trafficking 10 kilograms of heroin and supplying it to African national Sestus Benson in 2007.
This is a first-ever case of capital punishment being awarded in a drugs trafficking case. Till now the maximum punishment in drug crime has been RI and a heavy fine.
Paramjeet was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on 30 November 2007 in Chandigarh as he was illegally delivering heroin to Benson. âWhat made his crime grave was that Paramjeet was out on parole granted by a Delhi Court in another drug trafficking case," NCB Special Public Prosecutor Kailash Chander said.
Benson has been awarded an RI of 15 years and a fine of Rs.1.5 lakh by the court, Chander said.
NCB Zonal Director Rohit Katiyar confirmed the development and said the judgement in the case was historic and would act as a "deterrent in illegal drugs and crime cases".
"This is a historic judgement. The judgememnt will go a long way in curbing the menace of narcotics abuse in the country, especially amongst the youth," Katiyar said.
"Paramjeet was earlier arrested by the agency in Delhi in 2005 and was granted parole by a Delhi Court and the Chandigarh court not only relied on this fact but also the NCB probe to deliver today's judgement under the Prevention of Illicit Traffick in Narcotic Drugs and Physchotropic Substances Act (PIT NDPS)," Chander said. (Sources: India Today, 28/01/2012)