2 May 2023 5:25 AM GMT
Observing that the involvement of various terrorist groups and syndicates in drug trafficking leads to threat to the national security and sovereignty of States by way of Narco terrorism, the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently dismissed the plea of an alleged drug trafficker, detained under the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances...
Observing that the involvement of various terrorist groups and syndicates in drug trafficking leads to threat to the national security and sovereignty of States by way of Narco terrorism, the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently dismissed the plea of an alleged drug trafficker, detained under the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (PITNDPS) Act, 1988.
Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul was hearing a plea to quash preventive detention order passed by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir in terms of Section 3 of PIT-NDPS Act.
While dismissing the plea the court underscoring India’s "close proximity" with major opium growing areas of the region due to which it said the country is facing serious menace of drug trafficking and as a spill-over effect, drug abuse especially among the youth is a matter of concern for us.
It observed that drug trafficking and abuse has continued its significant toll on valuable human lives and productive years of many persons around the globe. "With the growth and development of the world economy, drug traffickers are also seamlessly trafficking various types of drugs from one corner to another ensuring availability of contrabands for vulnerable segments of society who fall into the trap of drug peddlers and traffickers," Justice Koul observed.
Highlighting the threat that the drug problem poses to public health, safety and well-being of humanity, the bench recorded, "Our global society is facing serious consequences of drug abuse and it undermines the socio-economic and political stability and sustainable development," .
Expounding further the court noted that it also distorts the health and fabric of society and it is considered to be the originator for petty offences as well as heinous crimes, like smuggling of arms and ammunition and money laundering.
Observing that our Constitution framers had visualised danger of misuse of such type of substances and, thus, made it part of directives issued to the State, the bench added that the Directive Principles, which are part of our Constitution, lay down that the State shall make endeavours to bring about the prohibition of substances injurious for health except for medicinal and scientific purposes
Pointing out to the surge of this menace in recent years, the court recorded, India has been facing a problem of transit traffic in illicit drugs and the spill over from such traffic has caused tribulations of abuse and addiction which in turn has created an illicit demand for drugs within the country.
Justice Koul observed that illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances poses a serious threat to the health and welfare of the people and activities of persons engaged in such illicit traffic have a deleterious effect on the national economy as well.
"Having regard to the persons by whom and the manner in which such activities are organized and carried on, and having regard to the fact that in certain areas which are highly vulnerable to the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, such activities of a considerable magnitude are clandestinely organised and carried on, it is necessary for the effective prevention of such activities to provide for detention of persons concerned in any manner therewith," the bench said.
While dismissing the plea, the court found it worthwhile to record the observations of supreme court in Prakash Chandra Mohan v. Commissioner, wherein the top court observed that it must be remembered that observance of written law about the procedural safeguards for protection of individual is normally the high duty of public official but in all circumstances not the highest.
The law of self preservation and protection of the country and national security may claim in certain circumstances higher priority, Justice Koul concluded while dismissing the plea.
Case Title: Mohammad Ashraf Dar vs UT Of J&K.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (JKL) 103
Click Here To Read/Download Order