A lawyer has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme court challenging the validity of certain sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The plea seeks direction to decriminalise the purchase of certain drugs up to a certain level of “small scale” for personal consumption.
The plea filed by advocate Jai Krishna Singh seeks direction to quash Sections, 21, 27, 27A, 35, 37 and 54 of the NDPS Act and declare them in their present form as unconstitutional.
It seeks direction to the Centre to withdraw the cases instituted against the alleged drug users and those who are facing the charges of procuring drugs for the consumption of their associates having no commercial angle.
It further seeks direction for reframing these provisions of the NDPS Act and decriminalising the purchase of certain drugs up to a certain level “small scale” for personal consumption or for one’s relative or dear ones or live-in partner or master encouraging side by side public health approach to drug users including recreational users.
The PIL seeks direction for the government to identify, and provide counselling and treat the drug users and not punish them by sending them to jail.
Further, it urged to set up an inquiry into the allegations of ₹ 18 crore extortion racket run allegedly by a Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal head, either by the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) or by a retired judge of the Supreme Court.
“Their wounds can be healed only by withdrawing the cases instituted against them for drug consumption and procuring contraband for their masters, friends or associates. We cannot return their time spent in jail, their lost honour and respect, but indeed we can console them who suffered horrendous treatment because of the faulty National Drugs and Psychotropic substances Act,” the plea said.
Many of the provisions have a wider ambit and were abused by the enforcement agencies, especially against alleged drug users, plea further said.
“The way alleged drug users, especially children from Bollywood, were jailed on the charges of drug use and being part of a drug syndicate shows that the law was not implemented with the spirit which had motivated the enactment of the said NDPS Act and the NCB was acting under some extraneous influence. The nation cannot forget that the youngsters have been given life-long trauma by parading them in public in full media glare and then ailing and defaming them by accusing them of being part of the drug syndicate,” it added.