Punjab CM Amarinder asks Rajnath to make National Policy for prevention & control of drug abuse

In his letter, Amarinder has sought a series of measures to be taken by the Union Government to support the state's efforts to fight the drug problem.

Published: 18th July 2018 06:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2018 06:40 PM   |  A+A-

Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: July 18 Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to press for a national policy for the prevention and control of drug abuse, with a coordinated strategy for checking smuggling of narcotics into the border state.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Government has successfully secured from the Supreme Court a stay on the bail granted by the High Court to the accused in drugs cases, thus paving the way for further action against them, including their re-arrest if needed.

In his letter, Amarinder has sought a series of measures to be taken by the Union Government to support the state's efforts to fight the drug problem, which he observed was seriously impairing the future of our next generation.

While the state government was determined not to let this happen, "we need full and active support from Government of India in formulating and pursuing effective measures including the National policy for prevention and control of drug abuse," said the Chief Minister.

Amarinder urged the Home Ministry to ensure effective check on smuggling of drugs from across the border by BSF, restrictions on drug plantations in the neighbouring States, and formulation of a National Policy to regulate and prevent drugs in the country.

The Punjab Police have detected and caught huge quantities of heroin and other drugs smuggled from across the international borders, he said, adding that "the intelligence gathered by us in this regard is shared with BSF regularly, but unfortunately smuggling continues unabated to the detriment of our society."

He pointed out that his government, on its part, was aggressively chasing drug peddlers and smugglers to obliterate drugs from the State. Besides making every possible effort to have drug addicts treated with proper medication. The state government's strategy, focused on strict enforcement of laws, de-addiction and prevention of drugs, has started yielding good results, he said, adding that during the last few weeks, Punjab has been able to build a peoples' campaign against drugs.

As a result, footfall in drug rehabilitation centers and Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) Centres set up by the state government has increased substantially, he further pointed out. "While we will continue with our efforts to check the menace of drugs, it is felt that certain measures need to be taken at the level of Government of India," the Chief Minister asserted, seeking appropriate necessary action at the earliest possible.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Government has successfully secured from the Supreme Court a stay on the bail granted by the High Court to the accused in drugs cases, thus paving the way for further action against them, including their re-arrest if needed.

Acting on a plea by the state government, the Supreme Court today issued notice and granted stay of judgment on a batch of 19 Special Leave petitions filed by the State of Punjab. The SLPs related to grant of bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the accused in drugs cases, on the legal ground that their trial should have been conducted by Special Court under the Drugs and Cosmetic Acts and not under the NDPS Act.

Taking cognizance of the weakening of the prosecution case as a result of the grant of bail to such accused, Amarinder had asked the Advocate General to challenge the High Court orders before the apex court. Prima-facie accepting the challenge put up by the State of Punjab, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice R.V. Ramana has issued notices and stay in all these matters, thereby effectively cancelling the bail of all these accused.

The Supreme Court orders have been communicated by Advocate General Atul Nanda to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, with the request to ensure implementation of such interim orders, leaving it to the authorities to re-arrest, where found necessary, such accused who were previously on bail.

Amarinder writes to Karnataka & Rajasthan CMs Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday wrote to his Karnataka counterpart for premature release of militant Gurdeep Singh Khera on the basis of his good conduct.

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