The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has observed that if codeine phosphate is used in any combination irrespective of the amount of codeine phosphate total combination has to be considered as a narcotics substance.
According to the apex court, Phensedyl falls under the category of narcotics since contains codeine phosphate.
A six-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, passed the observation in the full text of a verdict.
In the verdict, the apex court also said, “In consideration of the matters discussed above, we are of the view that since codeine phosphate is a derivative of codeine, it has to be considered as scheduled narcotics. And any portion of the mixture of codeine phosphate with any other liquid substance shall render the total amount of liquid substance as narcotics substances and punishment will be imposed based on the quantity of total amount of such combination.”
The court also said, “We want to make it very clear that, since the existence of codeine phosphate makes Phensedyl a narcotic combination, the possession of or carrying of Phensedyl is thus a punishable offence under Section 19(1) Serial 3 of the Narcotics Control Act, 1990.”
The judgement was delivered by the apex court on February 1 in 2022, while the full text was released recently on the Supreme Court website.
According to the verdict, police arrested Badal Kumar Paul and others on November 5 in 1997 on a charge of bearing 250 bottles of Phensedyl each containing 100 ml.
Later in 2000, a Jashore court sentenced him to imprisonment for life and the other accused got acquittal under Section 19(1) Serial 3(Kha) of the Narcotics Control Act, 1990.
Following his appeal, a High Court division bench scrapped the sentence given to him by the trial court. The state later filed an appeal petition against the High Court verdict. After hearing the state appeal the apex court delivered the verdict.
The apex court in its verdict upheld the trial court sentence handed down to Badal Kumar Paul.
The court said, “Considering all the matters discussed above, we are of the view that the High Court Division committed an error of law not considering Phensedyl as narcotics substances and therefore, setting aside the judgement and order passed by the trial Court and acquitting the respondent.”