‘Treat whiteners, thinners as intoxicating liquor in JJ Act’

The Delhi High Court has called for expanding a section in Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, which prohibits sale of intoxicating liquor to a child, to also include over-the-counter items like whitener, thinners and vulcanising solution or ‘sulochans’.

“We are prima facie of the opinion that such like substances should be treated as intoxicating liquor within the meaning of Section 77 of the JJ Act,” a Bench of Justice Vipin Sangi and Justice P.S. Teji said.

Section 77 of the JJ Act prescribes a seven-year jail term for persons who give or sell intoxicating liquor or any narcotic drug or tobacco products or psychotropic substance to a child.

Harmful effects

The Bench was dealing with the issue of substance abuse in children. It said consumption of such substances by children is with the object of deriving the effect of intoxication but they not likely to be aware of their harmful effects.

Delhi government senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra said the expression ‘intoxicating liquor’ needs to be interpreted widely to include not just traditionally understood liquors but also other liquids or fluids which have the effect of intoxication and which may not be beverages per se.

Mr. Mehra said the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) III had in March last year passed an order in which the expression ‘intoxication liquor’ has been widely interpreted to include whiteners, thinners and ‘sulochans’.

Govt notification

Pursuant to the JJB order, Mr. Mehra said the city government has issued notification banning sale of correction fluids or whiteners, thinners or diluters and sulochans’ to children below 18 years unless the child is accompanied by parents or a guardian.

The Bench also directed the Social Welfare Department of the city government to submit a report disclosing the number of de-addiction centres presently operational in the Capital. It also directed the Department to disclose the steps the government plans to take for setting up such de-addiction centres for juveniles and adult addicts.

During the last hearing, the Delhi Police had assured the court that they were intent on taking steps to deal with the menace of drug trafficking by taking action against drug traffickers.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 8:28:47 AM |

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