Delay in framing Rules for effective implementation of NDPSA
JAMMU, Mar 3: Taking serious note of casual approach of the Chief Secretary and Administrative Secretaries of four key departments, Jammu and Kashmir State Accountability Commis-sion (SAC) has sought comments directly from the Chief Minister and Ministers for Health and Social Welfare over inaction on the part of the Government in framing Rules under Section 71 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPSA) and establishment of De-addiction Centres keeping in view growing menace of drug addiction in the State.
As already reported exclusively by EXCELSIOR, State Accountability Commission, while taking suo-moto cognizance of the reports regarding growing menace of drug addiction in different parts of State, had sought response from the Chief Secretary and Administrative Secretaries of Home, Health, Social Welfare and Finance Departments over inordinate delay in framing of Rules under Section 71 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and establishment of De-addiction Centres for proper aftercare of drug-addicts.
However, neither Chief Secretary nor Administrative Secretaries of Health and Social Welfare Departments filed their response to the order of the Accountability Commission dated December 27, 2017.
Though the Home and Finance Departments filed response but the same was amounting to passing the bucks on each other. The Home Department submitted that the entry of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in the State and prevention of abuse was being monitored by the Finance Department and no rules in terms of Sections 71 and 78 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act had yet been framed.
However, the Finance Department in its scanty written response reiterated the stand taken by the Home Department besides indicating that it was dealing only with such provisions of law which are related to Sections 10 and 78 of the NDPS Act.
“From the response so far received from the Government departments, it appears that no steps have yet been taken by the State Government in framing Rules or taking effective and meaningful measures regarding establishment of centres for identification, treatment, education, after care rehabilitation and social integration of the addicts of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances”, Justice J P Singh, Member State Accountability Commission has observed in the latest order.
“Keeping in view the seriousness of the issue and large scale misuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances besides the necessity for establishment of requisite centres for identification, treatment, education, after care rehabilitation and social integration of the addicts, there remains no other option with the Commission except to have comments of the Public Functionaries in framing Rules under Section 71 of NDPS Act, 1985 especially when the Chief Secretary and other Administrative Secretaries have not responded to the Commission’s notices requiring departmental response to the issues under examination to proceed further with the scrutiny proceedings”, the order further said.
“The Public Functionaries responsible for framing Rules and taking measures in terms of Section 71 of the Act are required to offer their comments on their reported inaction in the matter as also on other issues pending examination by the Commission”, said the order, the copy of which has been managed by EXCELSIOR from the Secretariat of Chief Minister.
The Commission has written separately to the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and Officers on Special Duty (OSDs) to the Ministers for Health and Social Welfare asking them to inform the Public Functionary (Chief Minister and Ministers) for furnishing comments by or before March 15, 2018.
“The Commission has taken suo-moto cognizance of issues arising out of misuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and inaction of concerned Public Functionaries”, read the notices. It has been mentioned in the notices that Health, Social Welfare and Finance Departments have adopted a casual approach in responding to the issues which they were required to reply.
“Even the Chief Secretary too didn’t file any reply on behalf of the Government on the issues conveyed to him by the Commission”, read the notices issued to the Public Functionaries. The copies of the Commission’s orders dated December 27, 2017 and February 15, 2018 have also been furnished to these Public Functionaries for their information and necessary action.
It is pertinent to mention here that growing menace of drug addiction is a matter of serious concern for all the elected representatives of the people, who unanimously passed a Resolution in the Legislative Assembly during the just concluded Budget Session asking the Government to take strict measures to check the menace.