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  • Jyoti Kumari


Jyoti Kumari,

Lucknow University 



As it is well known that drugs play a major role in our life as it helps in relief in pain and also use as anesthia but it is alright to use in a limit but when its amount increases it reacts conversely or its effects become opposite or when it uses in long run it can destruct and disturb the human well-being. Nowadays the use of drugs is more in prevalence as people are doing its business in import and export to make monetary benefits or gain from its use which is becoming a major threat to health and welfare of the human being. To combat such type of activities of drug trafficking parliament has enacted law to control and regulate the activities related to it and impose strict punishment in the form of imprisonment and fine. It is considered as socio economic crime i.e. which socially and economically harm or injure the rights of the person and disturb the public peace which is done so to earn money, personal gains. It’s also be called as White-collar crime. The offences done under this Act are criminal offences so, there is rigorous punishment.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 are made to regulate and prohibit production, sale, possession, consumption of any of its narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The Act made provisions related to activities like cultivating cannabis, manufacturing narcotic drugs or harbouring persons engaged in them in an offence in the form of imprisonment and fine etc. The Act was enacted to consolidate and amend the laws relating to narcotics drugs and to make strict rules and regulations to control the activities related to these narcotic drugs and substances. The act extends to the whole of India and it applies also to all citizens of India and to person on ship and aircraft which is registered in India. It allows only scientific and medical application of these narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances not for any other purposes.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985

The 47th Law Commission Report presented in the year 1972 by the 6th Law commission of India chaired by Hon’ble Justice P.B. Gajendragadkar .47th Law Commission report provides for trail and punishments of socio-economic offences.[1]

Following are the recommendations of the 47th Law Commission Report-

1.Separate chapter in IPC – Addition of separate chapter in IPC dealing with socio economic offences. This chapter would define and classify these offences and provides for appropriate punishment .Victim is usually the state .Harm is not to an individual alone but to the whole society.

2.Special Courts-This report recommended establishment of special courts to deal with the offences and judges of these courts should have the expertise in the subject matter.

3.Simplified Procedures- The procedure for the trail and punishment of socio-economic offences be simplified to ensure a fair and speedy trail.

4.Increased Penalties- Penalties for the socio-economic offences be increased to act as a deterrent to potential offenders.

5.Independent prosecutorial Agency - This report recommended the establishment of an independent prosecutorial agency who perform their function fairly and impartially.

Examples of socio-economic offences are following –

·Drug Trafficking

·Food and Drug Adulteration

·Black marketing

·Evasion of taxes etc.

Under section 2 of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic substances Act 1985 both terms are defined as follows –

Small Quantity – Section 2 (xxxiiia) defines small quantity as follows-

“Small quantity” in relation to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances means any quantity lesser than the quantity specified by the Central Government by notification in the official Gazette.

Commercial Quantity – Section 2(viia) defines as follows –

“Commercial quantity” in relation to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, means any quantity lesser than the Quantity specified by the Central government by the notification in the Official Gazette.

There is proper mention of it when talking about commercial quantities under the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. It defines any substance more significant than the quantity mentioned by the central government by the notification in the official Gazette.

Small and commercial quantities get specified for each drug and if the number of narcotics exceeds more than the mentioned amount, severe charges or jail becomes ultimatum.

NDPS Act considers drug offences very seriously, penalties are quite a lot. Fines and sentences vary depending upon the number of the drugs and the seriousness of the case. The Drugs have differentiation like small quantities, more than small, but a little less than commercial quantity and then come the retail number of drugs or commercial quantity.

As discussed above, there are three types of classification of drug quantity small, intermediate, and commercial. Commercial quantity is any quantity that exceeds the desired quantity specified by the Central Government. On the other hand a small quantity is any quantity that is lesser than then the quantity mentioned explicitly by the Central government.

The offences under commercial quantities are usually non –bailable U\s 37 NDPS Act. However, the bail can be granted if the court finds out that the offender did not use the drugs for consumption, selling or buying.


Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances

Definitions of both the terms is given under section 2 clause (xiv) and (xxiii) of the Act.

‘Narcotic drug’ means coca leaf, cannabis (hemp), opium, poppy straw and includes all manufactured drugs.

‘Psychotropic Substances’ means any substance, natural or synthetic or any natural material or any salt or preparation of such substance or material included in the list of psychotropic substances specified in the schedule.

Operation which are prohibited under section 8 of the NDPS Act

No person shall –

a-cultivate any coca plant or gather any portion of coca plant or

b- cultivate the opium poppy or any cannabis plant or

c- produce, manufacture possess sell, purchase transport warehouse, use consume import inter- state export inter-state, import into India, export from India or tranship any narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.

But there is exception to this prohibition which provides for medical or scientific purposes and in the manner and to the extent provided by the provisions of this Act or the rules or orders made there under and in a case where any such provisions, imposes any requirement by way of licence, permit or authorization.

Punishment and Penalty under NDPS Act

·Small quantity – rigorous imprisonment of 1year or fine 10000 or both

·Mediate quantity –rigorous imprisonment of 10 year with fine up to 1 lakh.

·Commercial quantity –rigorous imprisonment of 10 to 20 years with fine to 2 lakhs

Imposing higher punishment than the minimum punishment is provided under section 32-B of the NDPS Act. According to this provision Court may in addition to such factors as it may deem fit, take into account the following factors for imposing a punishment higher than the minimum term of the imprisonment or amount of fine, namely-

·the use or threat of use of violence or arms by the offender,

·the fact that the offender holds a public office and that he has taken advantage of that office in committing the offence.

·the fact that the minors are affected by the offence or the minors are used for the commission of an offence.

·the fact that the offence is committed in an educational institution or social service facility etc.

·the fact that the offender belongs to organised criminal group or organised international group.

Procedure for investigation in the NDPS Act 

Chapter V of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 provides procedure that needs to be followed for an investigation.

Section 41 gives power to metropolitan Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class or any Magistrate of the second class to issue a warrant for the arrest of any person or for the search, whether by day or by night of any building, conveyance or place.

Section 42, 43, 44 gives power to such officers’ power of entry, search, seizure and arrest without warrant.

In case of resistance, break open any door and remove any obstacle to such entry, seize such drug or substance and detain and search.


The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act 1985 enshrined many provisions to deal with the drug trafficking in the society. It helps in eradicating social evils of drug which is unnecessarily used by people to benefit themselves and destruct others life. As there is goodness in welfare of all.


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