It is four times more than the minimum of ‘commercial quantity’. Courts may take into account “such factors as it may deem fit” [Rafiq Qureshi v. Narcotic Control Bureau, Eastern Zonal Unit, (2019) 6 SCC 492]. Quantity of substance would fall into “such factors as it may deem fit”.
Gurdev cannot be said to be a mere carrier. Even a carrier who has knowledge, he is carrying with him a huge commercial quantity of narcotic substances/drugs, can be awarded the sentence higher than the minimum sentence provided. Merely being poor and/or a carrier and/or a sole bread earner cannot be a mitigating circumstance while awarding the sentence/punishment. While striking balance between the mitigating and aggravating circumstances, impact on the society as a whole will always tilt in favour of the suitable higher punishment.
– Hon’ble Justice M.R. Shah, Gurdev Singh v. State of Punjab, [Criminal Appeal No. 375 of 2021].