The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail applications of Kannada actors Ragini Dwivedi and Sanjjanaa Galrani and three others, who were arrested in connection with the Sandalwood drug scandal..While denying the grant of bail, Justice Sreeniwas Harish Kumar held that the custodial interrogation of the accused persons is imperative in order to discover evidence in the present drug case investigation. .....if the petitioners have remained away from interrogation purposefully to see that traces of drug should vanish from their scalp hair, it only shows their ulterior motive. It is recorded in the case diary that accused no.10 – Abhiswamy @ Abhijit Rangaswamy is likely to fly off India. These being the circumstances, if anticipatory bail is granted, investigation may hamper. Of course conditions may be imposed, but their custodial interrogation to unearth the hidden evidence appears to be very much essential.The High Court.Interestingly, on the point of quantity of the contraband substance, the Single Bench clarfied that the decision of the Bombay High Court in granting bail to Rhea Chakranorty would not apply in this case. Drawing inference from the said decision, the Court held that the offence punishable under Section 27(A) of NDPS Act is not quantity specific.."Sri. Jayakumar S. Patil, Sri. Hasmath Pasha and Sri. Bharat Kumar (Petitioner counsels) have referred to a judgment of the Bombay High Court in the case of Rhea Chakraborty Vs. The Union of India. According to them, bail was granted to accused in that case as it was a case of mere consumption and the material on record did not indicate involvement of commercial quantity of contraband.....".In fact what the Bombay High Court has held is quite contrary to the point urged by learned counsel. Following the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of State of Punjab Vs. Baldev Singh, it has been held by the Bombay High Court that irrespective of quantity of the contraband substance and the length of the period of imprisonment, all the offences enumerated in NDPS Act are non-bailable. The offence punishable under Section 27(A) of NDPS Act is not quantity specific. Therefore the argument of the learned counsel cannot be accepted.The High Court.Sandalwood Drug Scandal: Karnataka High Court reserves orders in bail pleas filed by actresses Ragini Dwivedi, Sanjjanaa Galrani and 3 others.Arguments of Parties.Senior Advocate Hasmath Pasha, appearing for Galrani, had argued that the prosecution had not yet determined/found out the quantity of drugs that had been allegedly consumed by any of the accused persons and more specifically, his client. It was submitted said that unless the quantity is determined, bail cannot be denied..The aspects of "indefiniteness of quantity of drugs" and offences involving "commercial quantity of drugs" that were highlighted by the Bombay High Court while granting bail to Rhea Chakraborty were also relied upon by Pasha..It was further contended that at most, they were only consumers and can be awarded only with a punishment of 6 months or fine or both. The question of punishment for 10-20 years does not even arise, said Pasha..Pasha also pointed out that Galrani had been in custody for more than 50 days, and that the blood and hair samples of the accused persons were collected. Even after seizure of their electronic gadgets and a thorough search of their houses, no incriminating evidence was found, Pasha urged the Court. The same argument was raised by counsel appearing for Dwivedi as well..If granted bail, there would be no likelihood of tampering with evidence, the counsel appearing for both the actresses assured the Court..On behalf of Dwivedi, it was contended that since the seizure or the possession of the drugs was not specifically from her, the same could not be attributed to her..It was further contended that Galrani cannot be compelled to share passwords to open the gadgets as it isit is against her right to privacy under Article 21, and also violates Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India.The Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) contended that since the investigation is pending, it would be appropriate if the accused persons remained in custody..It was urged that in the instant matter, there is a case of "real conspiracy" between many of the accused persons and if released on bail, there is a likelihood of their tampering with the evidence..What the Court held.With regard to the submissions made regarding personal liberty envisaged under Article 21, the Bench, after referring to a plethora of Supreme Court decisions, opined that, an accused cannot urge for liberty as vociferously as a person not being an accused..On the point of Article 20 (3), the Bench observed that, ."What if an accused is reluctant to disclose any information? In such an event, sometimes, especially a case based on circumstantial evidence, investigation never sees progress. In many a case, speaking from experience, voluntary disclosure made by an accused which is relevant according to Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, has led to chain of circumstances being completed. Therefore reluctance of the accused to voluntarily share the passwords, as rightly argued by Sri. V.G. Tigadi, may lead to draw an adverse inference against them. To this extent the hands of the Courts are not fettered.".Referring to the contents of the case diary produced by the SPP, the Court noted the following: .Usage of cocaine and other drugs by the accused persons in the parties they organized;Regular contact with peddlers by some of the accused;Seizure of certain quantities of drugs and electronic gadgets from the accused during investigation..This apart, the Court noted that when one of the accused was given a bottle inorder to procure her urine sample, she, in turn filled water in it. "If this is true, it shows her intention to mislead the investigation", opined the Court. .On these grounds, the Court ultimately refused to grant bail to the actresses and three others..While parting with the matter, the Bench further averred how usage of drugs have proved to be a menace in the society, especially among the youth. Adding on, the Court opined that the drugs spread a dark shadow on the future of the society and that Courts should not remain oblivious of this malady. .I opine: Youth, the most precious and indescribable phase of life. The youth are the epitome of idealism, enthusiasm and courage. Swami Vivekananda said, “My child, what I want is muscle of iron and nerve of steel, inside which dwells a mind of the same material as that of which the thunderbolt is made”. Muscles of iron and nerves of steel simply refer to the physical strength one should possess. And mind as thunderbolt implies the mental or psychological ability a Man should have. Such physic and psyche are not only the embodiments of youthfulness, but also the representation of productive future. Bothersome brutality dangerously affecting the young is substance abuse. The ill effect of this substance not just costs the physical and psychological abilities of an individual but spreads a dark shadow on the future of the society. The courts should not remain oblivious of this malady even while deciding application for bail.the High Court.Recently, a Special NDPS Court had also refused to grant bail to Dwivedi and Galrani.