Mechanism yet to be evolved to check inflow of drugs
JAMMU, Apr 22 There is no end to the dilly-dallying approach of the Government in framing rules for effective implementation of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPSA) in Jammu and Kashmir despite numerous directions from the State Accountability Commission (SAC) during the past several months. Moreover, the Government has yet not evolved any mechanism to control inflow of drugs so as to prevent more youth from falling prey to the menace.
The State Accountability Commission, while taking suo-moto cognizance of the reports mainly of EXCELSIOR regarding uncontrolled menace of drugs across the State, had felt the necessity of having rules as per the provisions contained in Section 71 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. Accordingly, it started issuing notices to top bureaucrats of the State seeking to know the steps taken by them to ensure effective implementation of NDPSA. They were also asked to apprise the Commission about the steps taken for establishment of sufficient number of drug de-addiction centres in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir keeping in view growing number of drug addicts.
However, there was no encouraging response from the Administrative Secretaries of Home, Health, Social Welfare and Finance Departments and finally the Accountability Commission in the month of March this year, while taking serious note of casual approach of these officers, sought comments directly from the Chief Minister and Ministers for Health and Social Welfare over inordinate delay in framing rules under Section 71 of NDPSA and establishment of sufficient number of de-addiction centres for proper aftercare of drug addicts.
On March 20, 2018, the Accountability Commission had observed, “in view of the stand taken by the representatives, resort to the consequences flowing from non-appearance of the public functionaries is deferred till next date of hearing awaiting Government’s response in the matter”.
“Even after being given sufficient time by the Accountability Commission the Government has yet not started exercise to frame the much needed rules of NDPSA”, sources told EXCELSIOR, adding “Home Department, which has an important role to play in this regard, is totally unmoved so far”. Not on this aspect only, the Home Department is also soft-paddling on authorizing the officers as per the provisions of Sub-Section 2 of Section 41 of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
This can be gauged from the communication No. ME/Legal/Genl/24/2018 dated April 18, 2018 of Health and Medical Education Department addressed to Principal Secretary to Government, Home Department inviting the attention towards Sub-Section 2 of Section 41 of NDPSA with the request to authorize officer(s) of the State for carrying out the purposes of NDPSA. It is pertinent to mention here that authorized officer(s) enjoys sufficient powers under NDPSA vis-à-vis conducting searches, making seizures, freezing properties etc.
“By not acting on the explicit directions vis-à-vis framing rules and authorizing officers to carry out the provisions of law the Home Department has adopted contemptuous attitude towards the Accountability Commission”, sources said, adding “even no fool proof mechanism has been evolved so far to check inflow of drugs”.
They further said, “no doubt the Police is making seizure of narcotics drugs from different parts of the State regularly but no serious attention has been paid towards plugging the routes being used to bring drugs into the State”, adding “had this been done the quantity of seizure would have automatically come down”. According to the sources, the Accountability Commission is perturbed over complete failure of the Police on this vital aspect
Meanwhile, the Health Department has responded to the notices of the Accountability Commission and nominated Project Director AIDS Control Society as nodal officer to monitor drug de-addiction centres in the State referred in Sub-Section-1 of Section 71 of NDPSA.
“The nodal officer shall apprise the Accountability Commission from time to time about the steps taken while monitoring drug de-addiction centres in the State”, read the order the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR.