Drug traffickers to face stricter action

They can be detained for two years under the PITNDPS Act

With cases of ganja trafficking on the rise, the police have decided to detain repeat offenders under the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (PITNDPS) Act.

The police have sought technical assistance from the Narcotics Control Bureau to frame proposals seeking sanction from the District Collector to detain drug traffickers who mastermind and finance illicit transport and sale of ganja and other narcotic substances.

Culprits caught in the illicit trade of ganja are currently booked under provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. In rare cases, Section 4 of the Juvenile Justice Act are invoked against those found selling cannabis to children.

“We found the present legal provisions inadequate to give stringent punishment for drug traffickers. PITNDPS is almost like detaining anti-social elements under the Goondas Act, but the narcotics act is more stringent,” Senior Superintendent of Police (Law and Order) Rahul Alwal told The Hindu.

Post to be created

A repeat offender booked under PITNDPS could be detained for two years, he said, adding that the provision would be invoked from the next month.

The government was also planning to create the post of Superintendent of Police (Narcotics) to have a focussed approach on curtailing the drug menace, he added.

In one of the biggest crackdowns last year, the Special Task Force, with the involvement of the respective police stations, arrested 55 persons and seized from their possession around 35 kg of contraband. During the year, the law enforcers have also seized 160 LSD (psychedelic drug Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) stamps from a person while he was transporting the narcotic for sale among party-goers.

“Ganja trade is a quick way of making money and a profitable one too. So it needs to be curbed before it takes further roots,” he added.

Those involved in the illicit trade procure ganja for ₹15,000-20,000 a kg. They then sell the weed in packets weighing 3 g, to regular clients, including college and school students, for ₹300-500, the SSP said. The weed is sold to foreigners and tourists at a much higher price, he added.

Last year, four persons were booked under the JJ Act for selling the contraband to minors. The Act prescribes stringent punishment of seven years’ imprisonment, and a fine up to ₹1 lakh for giving intoxicating liquor, narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances to children. Parents of children found to be in touch with drug peddlers were duly informed and counselling was given to them, he said, requesting the public to give more specific inputs about drug trade in their localities.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 2:03:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/drug-traffickers-to-face-stricter-action/article30854927.ece

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