NDPS ACT-Judicial Trend

Topics: Morphine, Cocaine, United States Constitution Pages: 5 (2341 words) Published: May 5, 2014
Odisha Review

April - 2012

Enforcement of the
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance
Act, 1985 : Judicial Trend Analysis
Alok Kumar Jena

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance
Act, 1985 has replaced two Central Acts., i.e
The Opium Act,1878 and The Dangerous Drugs
Act,1930. An urgent need was felt for a
comprehensive legislation to deal with the Narcotic
Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and for
exercising control to strengthen enforcement
measures on drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
It was also aimed to incorporate therein certain
provisions of international conventions.
The primary aim of the Act is to protect
the public health from the onslaught of the evil.
The offence under this Act are very serious and
hence dealt with very stringently as the allegations
if proved, could end with rigorous imprisonment
with fine and in extreme cases may include
“Capital Punishment”. The Law Enforcing
Agencies play vital role in curbing the drug menace
and as such needs special care while enforcing
the law.
It is a fact that while most of the decisions
concerning the NDPS Laws have gone in favour
of the accused and lot of benefit of doubt under
various sections of the Act has been given to the
most of the accused suspected on committing
offences punishable under various sections of
NDPS law yet the accused whose guilt has been
established are punished stringently and the
judiciary has not shown any sympathy for such

The Supreme Court and High Courts
have been strict in the interpretation and
enforcement of provisions of NDPS laws and at
the same time progressive even, in evolving definite
principles for complying with the provisions of
some sections of NDPS laws, specifically
directing the enforcement authorities to strictly
follow the procedures laid down by the NDPS
Laws in respect of possession, search, seizure,
confessional statements, personal search under
Section 50, in granting bails, safe custody of
samples under Section 55, reduction of
information in writing, informing the superior
officers, presumptions, conviction solely on the
basis of police/prosecution witness, false
prosecution, vexatious search and seizure,
preventive detentions, forfeiture of propertiesalmost every point of importance has been touched and decided by the Court in extreme
fairness and highest judicial principles of law.
Eventhough the NDPS Act is very
stringent, the Courts have tried to reduce the
stringency by applying the principles of fairness
and equity giving them a chance to reform. The
provisions of Cr. PC, 1973 and the Constitution
of India have been given primacy in considering
and deciding on the facts and points of law in

April - 2012

Odisha Review

The Constitution of India has been given
predominance in protecting the rights of the
accused involved in committing the offence under
NDPS Laws. Its protective shield has been
extended to them for their personal liberty and
violation of fundamental rights of life and liberty.
Every effort has been made to present
the NDPS Laws in their various dimensions by
emphasizing the Supreme Court and High court
interpretations of various issues involved in
establishing the guilt/innocence of the accused
under various sections of NDPS Act.
Most of the debatable legal issues like
Conscious Possession, search of the person,
admissibility of confessional statements in
evidence, commercial and small quantity
determination, conditions precedents for grant of
bail, search and seizure procedure, informing the
accused person about his right during search
before an Executive Magistrate or Gazetted
Officer, confiscation of properties, conveyance
etc., value of police/ prosecution witness, search
and seizure without warrant, procedure followed
during chance recovery, confiscation of properties
acquired through illegal means, preventive
detention and legality of detention...

References: (2007) 3 CALLT 129 HC, 2007 (3) CHN 416; 2007
Drugs Case (Narcotics) 518, Calcutta High Court.
(2008) 5 SCC 161
Abdul Rashid Ibrahim Mansuri v. State of Gujarat
[(2000) 2 SCC 513]; Dilip v
2010 SC 1966, Sajan Abraham v. State of Kerala
[(2001) 6 SCC 692], Union of India v
1784 OF 2010Decided on 16 June, 2011, http://
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