top of page
  • Writer's pictureLAWGIC STRATUM


Author: Shobicka J B


The laws followed in India regarding the narcotics are Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) (1985) and the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (1988). The drugs are mentioned commonly as ganja, heroin, cocaine, etc.

The act says that it is not legal to possess, sell or cultivate drugs by the people which will be an offense. This will be punished under the prevention of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances act. In this report, the details regarding the narcotic laws in India and the comparative study with the other countries are discussed.


The above-mentioned act was introduced in 1985 and used in the regulation of the control of drugs. In India, the process of smoking drugs through heat the chemical is being followed through generations. Those drugs which are related through this process of pot-smoking were legal until before the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic and Substances (NDPS) act. This method of selling and using drugs was very usual in the early stages before the act was passed.

This act was passed for the prohibition of drug activities in India. These acts clearly distinguish the difference between the people who sell drugs and the people who use them. The punishments to these people were also discussed as the traffickers should be punished severely where the people who use them can be sent to the rehabilitation facility.

The people who are addicted to taking the drugs can be given the treatment and can be cured with the guidance of the Court. Section 39 and Section 64A under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic and Substances (NDPS) act gives the key point and the initiative where the person who is a victim to the habit of taking continuous drugs can be cured by sending them to the rehabilitation center.

The use of drugs may result in various issues. This will become an addiction to some people. This will cause hallucinations. The mental health of the people will be seriously affected. This may cause the person to encounter many actions which may end in various consequences. The actions in which people tend to do under the drugs may cause serious impact, sometimes it may end in life-threatening situations.

The imprisonment of the traffickers is promised in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic and Substances (NDPS) act. The punishment is given to the traffickers as to the substance of the chemical drug which is used.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic and Substances (NDPS) act not only promises the punishments. This act also gives the right to search, attach, and in certain cases, it also allows to arrest of the person involved in the drug trafficking.


Article 47 of the Constitution of India gives power to the state to take control over public health. It speaks about the Directive Principles of State Policy. This includes the power to take control of narcotics. The drugs used by the people can be differentiated and rated accordingly.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic and Substances (NDPS) Act defines each and every method of taking drugs and its differentiation. The punishments subscribed under this act are according to the quantity of the possession of the drugs.

If the infringement constitutes a small amount that is less than a one-kilo gram of drug, the punishment involves the rigorous imprisonment of six months or ten thousand rupees fine or maybe with both. If the breach involves a certain amount lesser than the commercial amount higher than the smaller amount then the punishment involves rigorous imprisonment of which can be extended to ten years and with the fine extent of one lakh rupees. In case the quantity of drug is found to be of the commercial amount then the punishment involves the imprisonment of a term not less than ten years but can be the extent to twenty years and with the fine of rupees not less than one lakh which may extend to rupees two lakh.

In some serious situations, the Court may take the issue seriously and offer punishment up to capital punishment for the instant death penalty. In a case in 2007 in the Special Court of Mumbai, the Court awarded a death sentence to Ghulam Malik. He was caught with 142 kilos of a drug named hashish.

Where in the case of Harm Reduction Network v. Union of India[1], it was held that the death sentences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic and Substances (NDPS) Act are unconstitutional. The death penalty should not be awarded was held under the act.

The state police along with the center and the Central Bureau of Narcotics, National Control division are involved in the task of dealing with the cases in the Narcotics Department.


The countries like Portugal and Switzerland are the countries with the high reports of usage of Narcotics during the time of 1980. Many people were died because of the usage of drugs.

The Portugal government took a step of decriminalizing the very lower crimes relating to drugs. They involved in the initiative like developing the rehabilitation centres. They concentrated on health and the reform practices in curing the public. The reform activities started in 2001, where the abuse due to drug activities gradually started decreasing. The twenty-four percent of violations has been decreased in 2013 as per the report of The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The Switzerland government took a step involved in reducing harmful activities caused by the drugs. During that time the AIDS was in a huge spread because of drug activities. Heroin Assisted Treatment (HAT) program was introduced in Switzerland which reduced the spread of AIDS and involved in the reduction of abusers and victims. The death rate was decreased.

The laws relating to narcotics in the United States of America are considered to be acetous. But in many countries, the punishment given to drug-related crimes is very high. In China, the person with the possession of heavy drugs will be executed and in small cases, the person must attend the government’s rehabilitation facility compulsorily. In Malaysia, drug-related crimes are considered serious. The person is awarded a death sentence and will be departed sometimes.

The Opium drug is the major used drug in Iran country which is produced from Afghanistan country. In a serious scenario, the person arrested for the offenses related to the drug will be awarded a death sentence.

In the countries like Saudi Arabia, the person is usually awarded capital punishment which is the death penalty. In a country where alcohol is not legal, drug-related products are considered serious and punished to death[2].

The Country like Vietnam is providing efficient service for the abolition of the drugs and the problems relating to it and enforced the rehabilitation centres.

In the countries like Thailand, drug users are made to attend compulsory rehabilitation programs. In Singapore, the trial is made, and in case of confirmation of the offense of drugs the death sentence is awarded.

In the countries like Indonesia, the period of twenty years imprisonment is awarded for offenses relating to drugs.

In India, the drugs are easily transported to other countries also. The United Nations report says that in India the drugs are illegally grown and are being transported.“Dark Web” isthe term,used for illegal dealings. The treaty regarding the national involvement in preventing the transaction and the bilateral cooperation has been promised by India in preventing illegal trafficking and develop the proper method and production of proper medical approved drugs[3]. Under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) (1985), certain drugs are banned by the government where the use of them constitutes an offense. This act gives the detailed and approved methods and the constitution of the courts and the severability of the offenses.


The efforts taken by the Indian government in the reduction of illegal drug dealings are effective. The punishments are quite higher as prescribed under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) (1985) are high. Human rights and public health has not been violated and have been followed. The constitution provides a way of preventing public damage by the cause of drugs.

But when it is compared with the producers and the steps taken by other countries, the compliance with legal aspects is not as efficient as the other countries. In various countries, the death penalty is sentenced and is being followed. In India, the death penalty is considered to be a violation of human rights and is unconstitutional and did not recognize by the law. It should be revised and amended as per the verge of the crime happened and the punishments should be made severe and the effective methods such as rehabilitation measures should be implemented in large numbers.


[1]2012 BomCR (Cri) 121 [2] [3]

Edited by Rangarajan R, Editor-in-chief, Lawgic Stratum

174 views0 comments
bottom of page