Ground Report | New Delhi: What NDPS amendment Act suggest; The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had recently recommended a more humane approach while dealing with small-time drug users. He noted that India’s drug law, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, does not provide any relief for recreational users or first-time users. The ministry also advised not to imprison drug users or addicts.
What NDPS amendment Act suggest
The ministry has sought to take possession of small quantities of drugs for personal consumption free from crime. It has suggested amendments to the NDPS Act so that those who use drugs or are dependent on them as victims should be sent to de-addiction and rehabilitation and not jail terms.
According to a report, the ministry has suggested the revenue department amend the Act by treating those who use or depend on drugs as “victims”. It has also been suggested that they be sent to de-addiction and rehabilitation centers instead of jail.
The revenue department had last month asked several ministries and departments, including agencies such as the Union Home Ministry, the Union Health Ministry, the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to make suggestions. Amendments to the law, if any, along with the reasons therefor.
use of drugs
The NDPS Act is the basis for the legislature that decides how the country views drug use legally. It was formed in 1985 to prohibit the trade, production, use, and possession of drugs and psychotropic substances – regardless of purpose (except for medical and scientific reasons). While it later took a remedial approach to “addicts” by granting them immunity from imprisonment, the Act also criminalises the use of drugs for personal consumption.
One of the recommendations pertains to Section 27A of the NDPS Act – one that talks of long-term imprisonment for anyone charged under the NDPS. It does not differentiate between addicts, recreational users, or first-time users.
The Ministry of Social Justice proposed that jail terms and fines for a period of at least 30 days be swapped in government-run rehabilitation and counseling centres. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has used Section 27A along with Section 29 in celebrity cases like Aryan Khan and Rhea Chakraborty. Federal called these instances “cosmetic arrest” and privacy violations.
For example, section 27 of the NDPS Act provides for imprisonment of up to one year or fine up to Rs 20,000 or both, or both for consumption of any intoxicating substance or psychotropic substance. It makes no distinction between addicts, first-time users, and recreational users. This is one of the provisions for which the ministry has proposed to replace jail terms and a fine of at least 30 days with compulsory treatment in government-run rehabilitation and counseling centres.