In this article, Shubham Prakash discusses How to report incidents of drug trafficking in your neighbourhood.

Introduction

The term ‘drug’ is defined in medicine as any substance which helps in the prevention or curing the disease of a people. It generally protects the physical and mental welfare of an individual. In pharmacology, it is defined as any chemical agent who alters the biochemical or physiological process of tissues and organism. Under Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs, 1961 the ‘drug’ includes any substance which is listed in Schedule I and II of the Act.

According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC)[1] drug trafficking is an illegal way of carrying a trade which involves the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances that are subject to drug prohibition laws. It generally includes carrying the trade of opium, heroin, cocaine, cannabis and other chemical and pharmaceutical drugs. The UNDOC controls, monitors and researches on these illicit drugs, so that the person who is supplying such drugs should be punished which will lead to less use of these drugs. Although drugs are used in medicine like antipyretics, analgesics, antibiotics etc., these are prescribed by doctors in a limited quantity. Drug trafficking racket is a criminal act, which is planned and organized by a single or a group of people to carry out a form of business of drugs, in order to earn illegal money.

Laws relating to prohibition of Drug trafficking

The government prohibits the use of production and supply of drugs, except the license which is granted under the law. The substance which is considered as drugs under the adherence of international treaty like Single, Conventions on Narcotic Drugs 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substance 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988.

In order to file a report for the drug trafficking racket, the law applied is Narcotics and Psychotropic substance Act, 1985.

Narcotics and Psychotropic substance Act, 1985

The Act gives power to the Central Government to make rules for state governments. There are different rules for the central government and state government. If there is any illicitly using of drugs the report will be filed against the same and will be punished under the act. The Act prohibits:

  • Any person from cultivating or producing opium, poppy, cannabis and coca- plants.
  • Provided that they have authority to produce, manufacture, sale or purchase if it is required for the medical purpose as per the order was given by the government on the licensed substance.

Offences and Penalties

Offence Penalties Provision/ Sections
If the products like opium, cannabis or coca- plants are cultivated without license Rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years and fine up to Rs. 1 lakh Opium- 18(c)

Cannabis- 20

Coca- 16

If there is misappropriation on the part of the farmers to use of licensed product like opium Rigorous imprisonment up to 10 to 20 years and fine up to Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs (in spite of any quantity) 19
If there is a production, supply, sale or purchase of drugs ·       For Small quantity there is rigorous imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs 10, 000 or both

·       For more than small quantity but less than commercial quantity there is rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years and fine up to Rs. 1 lakh

·       For Commercial Quantity there is a rigorous imprisonment of is 10 to 20 years and fine up to Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs

Opium- 18

Prepared opium- 17

Cannabis- 20

There is a preparation of manufactured products- 21

Psychotropic substances- 22

If there is trade of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance ·       For Small quantity there is rigorous imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs 10, 000 or both

·       For more than small quantity but less than commercial quantity there is rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years and fine up to Rs. 1 lakh

·       For Commercial Quantity there is a rigorous imprisonment of is 10 to 20 years and fine up to Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs

23
If there is a trade of NDPS outside India and supplied to another person. Rigorous imprisonment up to 10 to 20 years and a fine of Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs (in spite of any quantity) 24
If the person knowingly allow the use of one’s premises for keeping the NDPS Rigorous imprisonment up to 10 to 20 years and a fine of Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs (in spite of any quantity) 25
If a person contravenes an order made under section 9A- to control and regulate controlled substances Rigorous imprisonment up to 10 to 20 years and a fine of Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs 25A
If a person finance illicit traffic and harboring offenders Rigorous imprisonment up to 10 to 20 years and a fine of Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs 27A
If a person attempts to commit an offences Rigorous imprisonment up to 10 to 20 years and a fine of Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs 28
If a person commits abetment and criminal conspiracy Rigorous imprisonment up to 10 to 20 years and a fine of Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs Abetment and criminal conspiracy- 29
If a person prepares to commit an offence Half the punishment for the offences 30
If a person keeps on repeating the same offence One and half times the punishment for the same offence. Death penalty in some cases. 31

Death Penalty- 31A

If a person consumes a lot of drugs ·       In case of Cocaine, morphine, heroin-Rigorous imprisonment up to 1 year or fine up to Rs 20,000 or both

·       In case of other drugs- Imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs. 10,000 or both

·       If the person addicts the volunteering for treatment to enjoy the immunity from prosecution

 

27

Immunity from prosecution- 64A

Punishment for offence for which no punishment is provided Imprisonment up to six months or fine or both 32

How to report – Procedure to lodge a complaint with the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB)

The report should be made to the concerned officers of Central excise, narcotics, customs particular department who has been empowered by the government to enforce the NDPS Act. The concerned officer makes a report start the process of investigation. According to 36-A(4), the concerned officer has to complete its investigation within 180 days. The legislature has given power to Special Court to exceed the time period from ‘180 days’ to ‘One year’ seeing the facts and circumstance of the case.

Search

  • According to S. 41(2) of NDPS Act, 1985 a gazetted officer can direct any subordinate officer to search the place where there is s suspicion that drugs would be found.
  • According to S. 42 of NDPS Act, 1985 any officer of superior rank to sepoy, peon or constable can search a place without a warrant. They also have the power to search any person between sunset and sunrise under certain circumstances.

Seizures

  • According to S. 42 of NDPS Act, 1985 any officer of superior rank to sepoy, peon or constable can seize the drugs like opium, heroin, cocaine, cannabis etc. used for manufacturing or producing substance. These drug substances can be taken as a conclusive evidentiary material.

Detention, search and arrest of a person

  • According to S. 42(1)(d) of NDPS Act, 1985 any officer empowered under section 41 and 42 can detain, search and arrest any person if he has a reason to believe that such person has committed the said offence is punishable under this Act.

Public Places

  • According to S. 43 of NDPS Act, 1985 any officer of the departments can search, seize and arrest in public places.

Conveyances

  • According to S. 49 of NDPS Act, 1985 any officer authorized under section 42 can stop, search, rummage and examine any animal or conveyances. They have the power to stop the animal or conveyances and if they fail to stop them legally then they can fire such animal or conveyance.

Power with respect to illegal crops

  • According to S. 48 of NDPS Act, 1985 any gazetted officer empowered under section 42 (or a magistrate) can destroy the cultivated opium, heroin, cocaine, cannabis etc.

Power to call for information

  • According to S. 67 of NDPS Act, 1985 any officer empowered under section 42 during the time of enquiry:
  1. Can call any person for giving information about illicit drugs,
  2. Can ask for any person to deliver any documents required for enquiry, and
  • Can examine any person acquainted with facts and circumstances of the case.

Other agencies under NDPS Act, 1985

The Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) is responsible for the band of illegal cultivation of drugs through the country. The NCB administrates the illegal trade of drug trafficking by following the provision of NDPS Act, 1985. The Department of Revenue which falls within the domain of Ministry of Finance looks into the matter of Opium Act, 1878 and the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930.

The enforcement agencies like Border Security Force, Customs and Central Excise, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Narcotics and Central Economic Intelligence Bureau are involved in administrating the NDPS Act, 1985. These state agencies generally include Police, Excise and Drugs Control Department. In order to have an effective implementation of NDPS Act, 1985 the agency coordinate with NCB and deals with the international and regional trade of drug trafficking.

Suggestions

  • The public policy should be taken into consideration and putting healthy safety as the first requirement which has been failed due to excessive use of the drugs.
  • The drugs should be used in a medicine inequitable access which is essential for medicine.
  • The law should be made in such way that the people should stop using the drugs and those who are using for the medicinal purpose should not be given compulsory treatment.
  • It is important to stop the criminal organization because they are the one who is producing and supplying drugs to the people.
  • The use of drugs like cannabis and coca leaf should be experimented in legal regulating markets before using in medicine.

Cross-Border Drug Trafficking – How to report information on Import or Export of Drugs

There has been an illegal trade that has been carried out between India and USA, where India is the main supplier of drugs. They frequently trade in an illegal practice of drugs with Turkey. Many countries have followed the ‘80/20 Rule’ which is also known as Pareto Principle which states that “for many events, roughly of 80% of the effects comes from 20% of the causes”. This rule came into existence in the year 1981 which was applied in the case of limited nations who carry the illicit trade of opium in order to get the price for the opium. The idea was to import the 80% of opium form the original source like India and Turkey in the country like USA and rest 20% from the country like Australia, France, and Italy etc. But the same rule was reviewed and it came down to 60/40 ratio. India and Turkey have not shown much interest in the new trade practice rule but Japan has acted as a ‘traditional supplier countries’ in purchasing opium form USA.

Carrying illegal trade of drugs with neighbouring countries

The import and export of opium and cannabis have become a vulnerable problem for the country like India and Pakistan. The illegal trade practice that has been carried out between these two neighbouring is known as ‘Golden Crescent’. The same concept of ‘Golden Crescent’ has been depicted in the movie Udta Punjab, where the illegal trade of drugs has been carried out in the border state (Punjab) of India via Pakistan.

Conclusion

It is a duty of an individual to not get scared and file a report for the matter related to drug trafficking because it is affecting the society as a whole. An individual should report the matter under the NDPS Act, 1985 and the rule of law should be followed before punishing a person who has been engaged in drug trafficking. Drug trafficking is such a critical matter that should be dealt by the official government carefully and at the same point in time, they have to follow the law.

[1] United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a United Nations office at Vienna which was established in the year 1997 in order to control and prevent the drugs by combining with United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP). It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and was renamed in the year 2002 as United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

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