Forensic Narcotics Divisions-fact or fiction?

We do not appear to be acerbic and caustic in our observations without reason, especially when we find the State Government , after airing of lot of grievances and concerns by many quarters and even following invoking court rulings and observations , finally decides to take the much desired action is never followed up in real terms to fructify on the ground . Exceptions could be there about which there could be no qualms. In most of the cases red-tape, the officialdom’s working culture, is the bane of the system. It may be recalled that there was a proposal by the Government to set up Forensic Narcotics Divisions in the State as drugs and its spreading effect along the length and breadth of the State with menacing proportions needed many measures to fight it out including the one under reference. The travesty is that the proposal papers are still in shuttling mode from one table to the other and one department to the other which is continuing for several months now. Where and which destination in the administrative system, shall the proposal have its decisive fate settled, is not known.
The matter being serious and related to the drugs and narcotic substances and thus having the sensitive or the critical nature of peculiar type, Supreme Court of India as well as the Division Bench of the State High Court have given directives in the matter. The matter does not end here as establishing five Regional Forensic Science Laboratories and creation of adequate facilities for storage of the seized drugs too are nowhere to be seen in the offing. Drugs are seized whenever there is pointed information and alert watch or due to host of other reasons, mainly accidental .
The question is as to where should the seized consignments be stored , including measures to prevent theft, pilferage, replacement or any other fiddling or tampering with the cache. To help prosecution proceed with the cases involved with respect to seized drugs , the substances are necessarily to be examined and certified by the experts, the importance of which can be well imagined because no stone should remain unturned in arranging speedy trial and punishment for the drug peddlers for which the prosecution should have all papers, documents and certificates etc in possession for submission in the court. Because of these considerations , Supreme Court is on record to have passed numerous directions to the States for taking the requisite necessary steps. Jammu and Kashmir State faltered and did not appear to have complied with the directives hence the Division Bench of the State High Court has had to deal with a Public Interest Litigation . Assurances given by the State Government through its Principal Secretary to Government Home Department in the court last December about the proposal having already been submitted to concerned State authorities, continues to be less of a reality , if not a fiction all these six months. Looking to the issue involved that of Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances , such a passive approach by the Government is not only least expected but perhaps is totally unwarranted.
What is it that papers and of such sensitivity should keep travelling from Home Department to Finance Department to the Directorate of the Forensic Science Laboratory and vice versa and thus get involved in the vicious circle of red-tape ? And it is not that huge amount of funds are required for creation of Forensic Narcotics Divisions which could be the alibi put forth but to call a spade a spade , only the question is that of the mind-set . One point to be seriously noted is that Jammu and Kashmir is becoming more and more ridden with the scourge of use and trade of drugs and other narcotic substances to fight which, a very broad based comprehensive policy is needed , setting up of Forensic Narcotic Divisions is one of the main steps in that direction.