Additional Sessions Judge M K Nagpal also imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on the woman who belongs to Jammu. The court, which had also convicted a man in the case, however, deferred his sentencing after it was informed that he has already been awarded 10 years jail and Rs one lakh fine by a Punjab court in another drug case.
The maximum punishment for a second conviction under the NDPS Act is death sentence. As per Section 31A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, death sentence can be awarded to a drug trafficker who has been convicted once under it for "engaging in the production, manufacture, possession, transportation, import into India, export from India or trans-shipment, of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances."
While convicting Mandeep Kaur and Gurdev Singh in the case, judge Nagpal noted the two "were not carrying on any drug racket on their own and they were only working for co-accused Balwinder Singh for some petty monetary considerations.
"Dr Balwinder Singh, who was alleged to be the kingpin of the drug racket and was also found involved in some other drug case also in Punjab, had absconded from custody and declared to be a proclaimed offender."
According to the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, its officials had on March 19, 2007 got information that some persons, including a woman, will be entering Delhi in a car during late night after crossing Singhu Border on G T Karnal Road. They will be carrying drugs, it had said.
Mandeep and Gurdev's car was stopped and during the search, 20 packets of the banned contraband, each weighing one kg, were recovered from cavities created in the floor of the vehicle and they were arrested.
They have been in custody since their in March 2007 arrest. During the trial, Gurdev had said the car was given to him by Balwinder, a doctor by profession, and he was told that there was heroin in the vehicle and he would be paid well if succeeded in taking the contraband safely from Ludhiana to Delhi. Mandeep had told the court that she was working with Balwinder in a hospital in Jammu and he asked her to take some medicines to Delhi which were meant to be sent abroad.
She was promised Rs 1,000 and jewellery for carrying out the job.