NDPS Act, 1985
NDPS stands for Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, introduced in 1985 by the Lok Sabha which has been amended for four times till now. It prohibits a person the production/manufacturing/cultivation, possession, sale, purchasing, transport, storage, and/or consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
Before 1985, cannabis and its derivatives which includes marijuana, hasish/charas and bhang were openly sold with no legal obligation. It was legal. It was seen as parallel to the consumption of alcohol which the upper class Indians would take it and hence does not attract any kind of punishment from law. But the United States was not in favor of all this and began a movement against the consumption of all drugs following the making of Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1961. At that time, India opposed the move but in 1985 it finally gave in made the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act in 1985 which banned all kind of narcotic drugs.
The punishment faced by the individual in the breaking of these laws are as follows:
When the contravention is done in a small quantity then the imprisonment may extend to 1 year or with a fine up to 10,000.
When there is a contravention of a quantity which is less than the commercial quantity then the imprisonment term may extend to 10 years with a fine which can even extend to 1 lakh rupees.
When the contravention is of commercial quantity then there is a rigorous imprisonment which shall not be less than 10 years and may even extend to 20 years with fine which should not be less than 1 lakh rupees.
From the time being it is enacted, it has faced a lot of criticism because it imposes on the grant of bail amount to “amount to virtual denial and ensure years of incarceration”. It is considered as one of the draconian law enacted by the government of India. It attract provisions which is somewhat similar to Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 and Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002. The burden of proof also is on the accused to prove his innocence and the court will automatically consider it as a culpable mental state which means the individual already had intention to commit crime and then there is no further argument in this. The deviance is present as according to the general principle of law the accused is innocent until proven guilty but in this case the accused will be guilty until proven innocent.
Therefore, the provisions of the law may be draconian in nature and deviance is there from the general principle which again brings us to the point that the innocent can be accused and held liable for the fault which he has not committed or committed but he did not have that prerequisite intention to do so but whatever the case may be it is done for the welfare of the people. The movement which took place worldwide was also for the welfare of people amd may be the government of India initially didn’t wanted to give in and enact such a law but at the end of the day it is a good decision. The drugs are not good for the health of the individual as it harms the organs and results in its failure. So, whatever is done is done for the good of the large people and that is why it should be seen in a good light.