The legacy of rehabilitation drugs in case of India has had very significant history. From forced cultivation to consumption, abuse and threats to abuse since a long time has had prerogative consequences. The narcotics and psychotropic substances were quite common during the 19th century in Indian market. Lack of accountability saw a huge influx of such drugs in the market. The mythological supremacy in this condition glorifies the use of cannabis and hashish. In light of medical importance, drug abuse cases were increased significantly. The Indian subcontinent had access to all sorts of global market outreach. The supplies were not limited and access was undefined. These drugs were sold in the same light as that of alcohol in society. The subtle formation of NDPS act was drafted in a due process of re-synchronisation. A global convention that forced the Indian government to check the overflow of the drugs in the International market. The NDPS act, 1985 was aimed to bring down the illicit trafficking of the same. This law compelled the government to eliminate the ethnically deep-rooted use of narcotics and drugs.


The narcotics were believed to be a relieve foe of the war veterans. Rather than being subject to just recreational use in medical purpose, the large scale production had a negative impact on the people at large. The single convention was initially denied by India but the nation was rather confronted with a grace period of 25 years. The NDPS act was drafted in 1861 and took almost 25 years to be encoded. The slow progress later proved to be fruitful. This act was adopted in 1985. The act was almost a lifesaving initiative taken by the government. The act criminalized;

· Cultivation

· Production

· Manufacture

· Possession

· Sale

· Transport

· Use,

Of the narcotics drugs and psychotropic substance in India. The law stringently provided for the consumption only in medical cases and not for recreational use by the people. The anti-narcotics committee was formed to look into specific matters related to the act.


The NDPS act laid down after a much hectic effort, engraved offences related to drugs. This included offences against all sorts of criminalized actions related. Other than this, the consumption in the form of import inter-state, export inter-state, import to India, export from India, transhipment, including attempt, abetment conspiracy is prohibited as well.

The sentencing policy acted particularly in favour of the accused offenders until the amendments were made to it.

· Minimum fine of 1 lakh rupees and 10year imprisonment which may extend up to 20 years and increased fine of 20 lakh rupees.

· On repeating the offence, minimum imprisonment of 15 years and 1.5 lakh rupees fine, may extend up to 30 years and 3 lakh rupees fine.

· Cannabis cultivation and ganja: Maximum 5year imprisonment and 50,000 fine.

· On repeating of the offence of cannabis cultivation, maximum imprisonment of 10 years including 1 lakh fine

· For ‘addicts’, consumption or possession of small quantity for personal consumption:

· Cocaine, morphine, heroin: max. 1year imprisonment or fine or either of them.

· Other drugs: max. 6 months

Only if accused could prove that the drug was only for personal use exclusive of commercial purpose.

Other than that the amendments made in the subsequent years arouse a major question. The 1989 amendment drastically changed the punishment policy. The provision for death penalty was included in the cat. It was contested that the repeat and grievous offences would be served with the same. This was rather a major concern because the death penalty was to be served under certain grievous crimes. The right to take away someone’s life was not the right of state. Under section 31A of the act death penalty was encrypted. Gradually there was view point that the death penalty should be served in cases of very grave crimes and drugs in no case was that grievous offence. Later the provision was still intact but the practise was restricted. Alternate verdict such as rigorous imprisonment.


The implementation of the law rapidly limited the freehand production and market sale of the drugs to public at large. The cultivation was restricted only to medical purpose. The provisions that were laid down under the act incited intrigued fear of punishment on the freelance traders. The business now shifted to the cartels who produced in lump sum amount. The import was restricted and the cultivation was shifted to more remote and inaccessible areas. The death penalty being struck down had a steady growth in the drug abuse once again. Yet the limitation overrode the number. The social impact is still at a deterrent stage. As drug mafias limited the sale under marginalized quantities, the exploitation of small scale peddlers dragged into this business increased. In 2018, a number of youngsters falling prey to drug climbed rapidly. 760 out of 1200 reported cases accused the younger mass being involved.


The deterrent policy of punishment is not stringent enough to stop the number of drug abuse cases. The NDPS act, though highlights all the necessary action against the accused, the applicability remains limited in real situations. Proper actions need to be taken so that the laws are implemented. Supervision should be ensured to enact upon the same. The larger groups involved in drug pedalling should be targeted rather than exploitation of the small scale peddlers.


© The People Bookmark | 2020

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