A bill was introduced to replace & amending the Drugs and Psychotropic Act (NDPS) in 1985 in Lok Sabha and passed on December 13. Here we go.
There were no drug laws in India until 1985 when the NDPS Act got passed. Atharva Veda includes marijuana smoking, and its use in entertainment was typical and widely accepted in the community in terms of alcohol consumption. Until 1985, marijuana and its extracts, such as hashish, marijuana, bhang, etc., were officially sold in the country.
NDPS Act legislation was mandated to fulfil the obligations of the Indian treaty under the Single Drug Agreement, Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the United Nations Convention to Combat Illicit Drug Trafficking and Mental Illness.
What is the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act?
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, of 1985 was mandated to compile and amend drug-related legislation,
to provide for effective drug and drug control and psychosocial activities,
to provide for drug seizures available or used for drug trafficking,
drug and psychotropic drugs, and the use of the provisions of the International Conference on Drugs and Substance Abuse and related issues.
The law regulated activities such as the construction, transportation, and use of alcohol and psychotropic substances.
Under the Act, financing certain illegal activities such as growing marijuana, producing drugs, or keeping people engaged in them is a crime.
According to provisions given under the NDPS act 1985, people found guilty of the offence will be fined up to 10 years in prison, extended up to 20 years, and a fine of at least Rs.1 lakh. It also allows the seizure of confiscated or used drugs, illegal drug trafficking, and drug trafficking. It also provides for death as NDPS Act punishment in some cases where the person is the default criminal.
The Act has been amended three times - in 1988, 2001, and 2014.
This law applies to the whole of India and all Indian citizens outside of India and all persons on ships and planes registered in India.
The Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) got established in 1986 under the Act.
Amendments to the NDPS Act
Rajya Sabha passed the Psychotropic substances & Narcotic Drugs ( Amendment) Bill, 2021.
1989: The Act is amended by a comprehensive provision with additional sections, including section 27A, to finance trafficking.
Illegal traffic means production, capture, sale, purchase, shipping, storage, and user booked under Section27A.
2001: Legislation amended to amend sentence. The action was easier for addicts, and bail was released.
2014: Significant amendments are made to the Act to allow medical access to narcotic drugs. It described “essential drugs”; under Section 9 and permitted the manufacture, administration, transportation, inter-provincial import, export, sale, purchase, use, and use of essential drugs.
What is Section 27A?
The NDPS has inadvertently provided for an essential provision of the Act, Section 27A, which provides for the punishment of those who fund illegal, ineffective trafficking.
This episode has been updated every year since the alleged suicide of a famous Bollywood actor after a drug overdose.
What are the provisions given under NDPS Act 1985?
NDPS Act, 1985 is the apex law by which the state regulates the use of intoxicants and psychotropic drugs.
It provides a substantial framework for punishing offences related to drug and psychiatric drug trafficking.
Section 27A of the NDPS Act, 1985, is about NDPS act punishment, and it is typically imposed on financing illegal traffic vehicles and harbouring criminals.
Because it is recorded in the decision, the court may impose a fine of more than two lakh rupees.
The provision text states that cases referred to under Section 2 (viii) i-v clauses are punishable by Section 27A.
However, the provisions of Section 2 (viii) v, which should be a catalogue of cases, do not exist after the 2014 amendment.
Therefore, if Section 27A punishes a blank list or a non-existent arrangement, it can get argued that it is almost invalid.
What was the 2014 amendment?
In 2014, a crucial amendment was made to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act to allow better medical access to narcotic drugs.
According to provisions given under the NDPS act 1985, as the law was very strict, despite being a leading producer of morphine, an opioid analgesic used as a pain reliever, it was difficult to get treatment even in hospitals.
Exceptions for essential drugs
The 2014 amendment removed state restrictions on transportation, licensed drugs described as “essential drugs,” and made them centralised.
It was done by first introducing the provision in Section 2, which defines essential narcotic drugs and later in Section 9, which allows the manufacture, administration, transportation, import, export, marketing, purchase, use, and use of essential substances as drugs.
The amendment to supplement the definition of essential drugs has rewritten the old Phase 2 (viii), a former case catalogue as in Section 2 (viii) b, and under Section 2 (viii) a, which defines essential narcotic drugs.
However, the draft planners failed to amend the provision to allow Section 27A to convert Section 2 (viii) a to Section 2 (viii) b.
Drug abuse is high-level socio-economic damage in India. The administration is taking several measures to decrease drug demand & supply and encourage drug rehabilitation facilities in the society.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, of 1985, also known as the NDPS Act, prohibits any person from engaging in any activity involving the production, planting, marketing, storage, transport, and consumption of intoxicating drugs or substances.