The 1985 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act forbids the production, possession, selling, purchase, etc. of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, except for medical and scientific purposes.
The Narcotics Control Bureau works to implement and safeguard the laws made under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
THE NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU
- NCB is India's nodal narcotics law enforcement and intelligence agency responsible for countering drug trafficking and illicit drug violence.
- It operates under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- It is located in New Delhi.
- It was formed in March 1986 to allow the full enforcement of the 1985 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
- Its mandate is to tackle drug trafficking in India.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU?
- The NCB is a nodal agency responsible for coordinating with different ministries, other departments, etc. & State / Central law enforcement agencies concerning drug law enforcement and also concerning Issues Concerning Drug Abuse.
- The NCB is also responsible for enforcing international obligations against illegal activities.
- Trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substances under various United Nations Conventions 1961, 1971, 1971,1988, to which India is a member.
- It also assists concerned authorities in different countries in facilitating universal prevention action.
- Suppression of the smuggling of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
- It operates in close collaboration with Customs and Central Excise, the Department of State Police, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB), and other national and state-level Indian intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
- It also offers support and training for law enforcement agency staff in India to tackle drug trafficking. It also tracks the borders of India to track points where international smugglers engage in smuggling activities.
PROVISIONS UNDER THE NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES ACT, 1985
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act is an Act of the Parliament of India that prohibits any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance from being produced/cultivated, owned, sold, purchased, transported, processed, and/or consumed by a person.
- Narcotic drugs include coca leaf, cannabis (hemp), opium, and poppy straw, as per the NDPS Act.
- A psychotropic drug includes any natural or synthetic material or any salt or preparation protected by the Psychotropic Substances Convention of 1971.
- Strict arrangements have been made for the monitoring and regulation of operations relating to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under the NDPS Act.
- The minimum sentence for dealing with drugs, as per the NDPS Act, is 10 years of rigorous imprisonment coupled with a Rs . 1 lakh fine.
- For all individuals booked under this act, no bail is issued.
- Also, no relief can be sought by the drug convicts by termination, remission, and commutation of sentences passed.
- The NDPS Act prescribes capital punishment for repeated drug trafficking offenders.
Various mechanisms of regulation to restrict the use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are given in the following conventions.
- The UN Single Drugs Drug Convention 1961
- The Psychotropic Drugs Convention, 1971
- The Illegal Trade of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Convention, 1988
For all these three conventions, India is a signatory.
The act has since been revised three times (1988, 2001, and 2014).
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF DRUGS ON SOCIETY?
Drug abuse is one of the most serious health problems faced by the world today which not only destroys the person involved, but his entire family, the society and the nation at large & spawns antisocial behavior such as stealing, crime, and violence.
Drug abuse adversely affects a country's economic growth by generating large quantities of unaccounted money that is also often used to fund terror and anti-national activities and thus poses a serious threat to national security as well.
In 1987 the United Nations decided to observe June 26th as ‘ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit trafficking, 'to sensitize the people in general and the youth in particular, to the menace of drugs.
Throughout the world, about 230 million people use illegal drugs at least once a year, and about 27 million people use drugs in ways that expose them to very serious health problems.
The U.N. estimates that illicit drug use causes over 2 lakh deaths globally, most of them being in their mid 30's.
Thus, illicit drug use is largely a youth phenomenon in today's world which increases during adolescence and reaches its peak among persons aged 18-25.
HOW DOES INDIA'S DRUG ABUSE LANDSCAPE LOOK?
- According to a survey by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, India has more than 70 million drug addicts.
- Different drugs are prevalent in different states of the country accounting for 1.62 percent of the world's seizures of illegal drugs.
- Our country records about 10 suicides daily due to drug or alcohol addiction and there were 3,647 such suicide cases in the country in 2014 with Maharashtra reported the highest such cases, followed by Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
- Proximity to the largest producers of heroin-the Golden Triangle (Southeast Asia) and Golden Crescent (Afghanistan-Pakistan & Iran) is one of the main reasons for drug trafficking in India. Additionally, Nepal is also a traditional source of cannabis.
- India is both a destination and a transit route for drug traffickers in these regions.
- India has been impacted by narco-terrorism as a result of cross-border smuggling.