Decoding The Code
The arrest and custodial interrogation of celebrity attendees of a cruise party has reopened the debate over the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS). The NDPS act prohibits a person from the production/manufacturing/cultivation, possession, sale, purchasing, transport, storage, and/or consumptions of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance. This act was enacted under American pressure in 1985 and since then it has been amended three times in 1988, 2001 and 2014.
The NDPS act is also meant to meet India's treaty obligations under the global single convention on Narcotic Drugs, Convention on Psychotropic Substances and United Nations' convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and psychotropic substances. The NCB (Narcotic Control Bureau) established in 1986, uses this law as its foundation. A large number of narcotic drugs and substances including cannabis, heroin and opium are covered by the law. However, bhang is excluded. The maximum punishment that can be given under this act is the death penalty. But the law says that such a punishment can be given to repeat offenders, on the discretion of a judge.
According to data from National Crime Record Bureau, 81,778 persons were arrested under NDPS Act in 2018. There were 63,137 cases of drug smuggling and drug abuse across India in 2018-marginally lower than 65,436 cases registered in the previous year. A 2019 report from the ministry of Social, Justice and Empowerment of the Government of India title magnitude of substance use in India found that India has 31 million users of cannabis. The pandemic saw a rise in drug-regulated arrests and seizures.
Seeing rising addiction, government must come forward with corrective measures to hammer down over its use. Our enforcement agency must keep their check on supply chains that feed the Indian underground narcotics market and the main players in that market. We need to get on things straight and must prevent proliferation of drugs.
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