Title : REFORMS NEEDED IN THE NDPS ACT
Date : Feb 09, 2022
REFORMS NEEDED IN THE NDPS ACT:
Based on a News Article published in the ‘The Hindu’
Useful for UPSC CSE Prelims and Mains (GS Paper III)
About the NDPS Act:
- It is the most significant law in India which gives the powers to the government to control the menace of narcotic drugs and other such psychotropic substances in India.
- It has many strict provisions including the imprisonment and property forfeiture for illicit trafficking, storage and consumption of drugs and other such substances in India.
- There’s also a provision of awarding death penalty in case of repeated offences.
What are the proposed amendments:
- The people who consume drugs in minute quantities be treated as victims rather than as accused.
- Also, there’s a proposed amendment to decriminalize the possession of narcotic drugs if someone has it in smaller quantities for using it personally.
Issues associated with the NDPS Act:
- It has provisions such that first the arrest of the suspect is made and then the investigation is carried out.
- This can cause a situation in which an innocent person has to spend few days in prison, because of the ongoing investigation.
- Since drug peddling is a very organized crime, so it is often very diffciult for the police forces to catch the real culprit behind the drug trafficking.
- The NDPS Act has no provisions to mandate the checking of each and every vehicles plying on Indian roads, particularly with the usage of sniffer dogs.
- As these drugs are often produced in LWE dominated areas, so it very difficult for the police forces to catch the real person behind production based on the current provisions of the NDPS Act.
- There’s also an issue of delay in trials of the accused aqquited under the NDPS Act.
- Growing hopelessness in the society post COVID 19 pandemic, has enhanced the usage of drugs and other such substances in the society.
- Thus, the amendments had become necessary in the NDPS Act.
- There are also concerns regarding the proper and just rehabilation of drug addicts as they are often considered as accused rather than victims.
- Thus, the amendments in the NDPS Act proposing that those consuming drugs in smaller quantities be treated as victims is a welcome step.
- There are also a few demands of legalizing the usage of drugs in India, which can further alievate the problem of drug usage.
- There needs to be an in-depth analysis of the reasons of why people are getting too much addicted to the drugs and that needs to be addressed.
- There’s a need to make a distinction between the end users and drug peddlers.
- A drug user using it in smaller quantities needs to be declared and treated as a victim as proposed by the new amendments to the NDPS Act.
- The Governments, Civil Society and the ordinary citizens too need to treat the drug victims in a just manner and give them the due care and respect that they deserve.
- There’s also a strong need to follow a ‘role-model’ approach wherein people like Virat Kohli, Neeraj Chopra, Gita Phogat, PV Sindhu, Vinesh Phogat can be roped in to spread awareness against the usage of drugs.
- Also, the local intelligence networks need to be boosted to pose a strict challenge against the production, transportation and distribution of drugs.
- Additionally, the ‘SAMADHAN’ Approach be followed in the LWE affected areas, so that the effect of left wing organizations be reduced and the level of trust between government agencies and local population be enhanced based on the approach of equitable and just economic growth and development in the region.
- The security agencies in the border states of J&K, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Gujarat need to be a lot more vigilant to curb the menace of drug trafficking from the cross-border areas.
- Lastly, the drug addicts need to be properly rehabilitated by developing enough rehab centres.
- The assistance of the private sector and NGOs can be taken in the same and also proper skill development and training be provided to such victims so as to make them economically self-sufficient (Atma-Nirbhar), thereby turning them from economic liabilities to economic assets for the economic growth and development of entire India.
- Lastly, the Prime Minister of India needs to continue to spread awareness against drug trafficking through the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ initiative as he has been doing.
- And also, each stakeholder right from the Pradhan-Sevak (Prime Minister) at the top level to the Gram Pradhan (at the local level) need to spread awareness against the usage of drugs amongst the local population.
Tags : drug trafficking, civil society