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What is NDPS act and how it works?



What is NDPS act ?

Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act was formed in 1985 with basic tenets based on guidelines laid by United Nations Convention on Narcotics Drugs in 1961, Convention on Psychotropic Substances in 1971 and The Convention on Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in 1988.  Various enforcement agencies plays role to curb the drug menace under the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Home Affairs and State Governments. Showik Chakraborty and Samuel Miranda were remanded in custody with charges under  NDPS act by Narcotics Control Bureau, after following a drug trail in renowned Bollywood’s actor Sushant Singh Rajput case.

Penalties under the NDPS act are stringent and even attempts to commit an offence attract the same punishment as crime. Even, Preparation for committing a crime attracts half penalty. Repeated offenders are liable upto 1.5 times the actual quantum. Punishment being stringent, there are several legal safeguards provided to suspected offenders. Few section of society are also provided immunity for drug offences, these includes ; officers discharging their duty, addicts, juvenile offenders or offenders who have earned immunity from the government in lieu of evidence.

Though NDPS act has been in stringent, Several regions are still reeling under Drug Menace

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES ( Source: Dept. Of Revenue )

Offences Penalty Sections of the Act
Cultivation of opium, cannabis or coca plants without license Rigorous imprisonment-up to 10 years + fine up to Rs.1 lakh Opium – 18(c) Cannabis – 20 Coca-16
Embezzlement of opium by licensed farmer Rigorous imprisonment -10 to 20 years + fine Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs (regardless of the quantity) 19
Production, manufacture, possession, sale, purchase, transport, import inter- state, export inter-state or use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances Small quantity – Rigorous imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs. 10,000 or both. More than small quantity but less than commercial quantity – Rigorous imprisonment. up to 10 years + fine up to Rs. 1 Lakhs. Commercial quantity – Rigorous imprisonment 10 to 20 years + fine Rs. 1 to 2 Lakhs Prepared opium-17 Opium – 18 Cannabis – 20 Manufactured drugs or their preparations-21 Psychotropic substances -22
Import, export or transhipment of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances Same as above 23
External dealings in NDPS-i.e. engaging in or controlling trade whereby drugs are obtained from outside India and supplied to a person outside India Rigorous imprisonment 10 to 20 years + fine of Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs (Regardless of the quantity) 24
Knowingly allowing one’s premises to be used for committing an offence Same as for the offence 25
Violations pertaining to controlled substances (precursors) Rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years + fine Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs 25A
Financing traffic and harboring offenders Rigorous imprisonment 10 to 20 years + fine Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs 27A
Attempts, abetment and criminal conspiracy Same as for the offence Attempts-28 Abetment and criminal conspiracy – 29
Preparation to commit an offence Half the punishment for the offence 30
Repeat offence One and half times the punishment for the offence. Death penalty in some cases. 31 Death – 31A
Consumption of drugs Cocaine, morphine, heroin – Rigorous imprisonment up to 1 year or fine up to Rs. 20,000 or both. Other drugs- Imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs. 10,000 or both. Addicts volunteering for treatment enjoy immunity from prosecution 27 Immunity – 64A
Punishment for violations not elsewhere specified Imprisonment up to six months or fine or both 32
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