On 27.07.2013, 480 drums of Butanone (CH₃CCH₂CH₃) were dispatched from Taiwan by vessel Zim Djibouti, with the port of destination shown as Nhava Seva Port, India. Butanone is a drug percusor, i.e., a substance that can be used to make illicit drugs. Is there an express prohibition on import of a controlled substance, pending grant of an NOC by the competent authority?
The SC asked, “should we answer the questions indicated above?” and answered, tongue in cheek, “though we feel tempted we must refrain… legal Issues need not, nay, should not be answered merely because they have arisen in a given case” [See, Control Print, 2015 (5) SCALE 284]. In view of the fact that the issues raised were directly in question in a pending and an unchallenged criminal proceeding, we are yet to know the fate of the 480 drums.