Title : THE NDPS AMENDMENT BILL 2021
Date : Dec 08, 2021
Topic à Government Policies & Interventions for the Vulnerable Sections of the Population:
- In the Lok Sabha, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was recently introduced.
- It aims to replace an ordinance that went into effect on September 30 of this year.
- The government introduced the bill to correct an oversight that rendered measures in Section 27 of the Act — which punishes people who finance illicit trafficking — ineffective.
- This occurred in 2014, when the Act was altered to make it easier to obtain narcotic narcotics for medical purposes, but the criminal provision was not changed.
- The Tripura High Court discovered a flaw in the statute in June 2021 and ordered the Union Home Ministry to alter Section 27's provisions.
- What was the impetus for this change:
- When an accused filed a special court petition in Tripura, claiming that he could not be charged since Section 27 A refers to a blank list, the drafting error was exposed. Following that, the Tripura High Court requested the Centre to change the law.
- When the Narcotic Pharmaceuticals and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act was revised in 2014 to improve medical access to narcotic drugs by removing state restrictions to shipping and licencing "essential narcotic drugs," the anomaly emerged.
- The phrase 'illicit traffic' was defined in sub-clauses I to (v) of clause (viiia) of Section 2 of the Act prior to the 2014 change.
- The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Act, 2014, renamed this clause (viiib) after inserting a new clause (viiia) in section 2 defining "essential narcotic drugs."
- Inadvertently consequential alteration, on the other hand, was not made in section 27A of the NDPS Act.
- Criticisms of the Bill include:
- Few analysts believe the Bill infringes on a citizen's fundamental rights because it applies to offences that occurred before 2014.
- It also breaches Article 21's fundamental rights because you can be penalised for an offence for which there is a law in place at the time the offence is committed.
- It makes it illegal to manufacture, possess, sell, buy, transport, store, and/or use any narcotic drug or psychotropic chemical.
- Since then, the NDPS Act has been revised three times: in 1988, 2001, and 2014.
- The Act covers the entire country of India, as well as all Indian citizens living abroad and all personnel aboard ships and aeroplanes registered in India.
- The Indian government has taken a number of policy and other steps to address the problem of drug trafficking:
- The 'Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan,' or 'Drugs-Free India Campaign,' was launched on August 15, 2020, in 272 districts across the country that were identified as the most vulnerable based on data from various sources.
- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has started implementing the 2018-2025 National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR).
- In November 2016, the government established the Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD).
- The government has established the "National Fund for Control of Drug Misuse" to cover the costs of combating illicit drug trafficking, treating addicts, and educating the public about drug abuse, among other things.
- Source à The Hindu à 07/12/21 à Page Number 9
Tags : narcotics, ED