A lot has been happening around the current web of drug-case which is entangled than ever before and a lot of facts are being missed out in the translation. Media is being blamed for playing judge and sensationalizing the news. While trying to separate the actual news from rumors and speculations have become a task, let us get our facts right by knowing the law. What are the laws in place when it comes to the usage of drugs? What are the rules?
Decoding the Drug Case: Here is What the Law Says
Under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, it is illegal for a person to produce, manufacture, possess, sell, purchase, transport, warehouse, use, consume, import inter-State, export inter-State, import into India, export from India or transship any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance, except for medical or scientific purposes.
Narcotic drugs relate to cannabis, coco plant, and opium.
The NDPS is predominantly punitive. It contains provisions to regulate drugs and also the procedure for search, seizure, and arrest of a person in either public or private places.
A drug is any chemical substance associated with distinct physical and psychological effects. It alters a person’s normal body functions. It has the potential to be misused and may turn out to be harmful to the individual or society at large.
The Narcotics Control Bureau was set up with effect from March 17, 1986, to prevent illicit traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
The drugs that were added later are morphine, fentanyl, methadone, oxycodone, codeine, and hydrocodone.
The Act extends to the whole of India. The Narcotics Control Bureau is the chief law enforcement and intelligence agency of India which is responsible for fighting drug trafficking and abuse of illegal substances.
The Act prescribes punishment of 10 years rigorous imprisonment which can be extended up to 20 years and fine of 1 lakh which can go up to 2 lakhs.
Senior Advocate Mr. B. Kumar of Madras High Court who is an expert in the field says that the punishment is graded, depending on the quantity of the drugs or psychotropic substances involved and is categorized as small quantity, intermediate quantity, and commercial quantity.
He said that India is a signatory to the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 by which an international system for control on psychotropic substances was established.
The Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) has so far arrested Sushant Singh Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and some suspected drug dealers for allegedly facilitating the actor’s drug habit. They have also questioned Bollywood actors Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan as a part of the investigation in a separate case.
With Inputs From Juliana Sridhar