13 Jan 2022 12:30 PM GMT
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has sought the response of the State Election Commission, Punjab to ensure 'Drug-free Elections' and for this purpose, the Election Commission of India has also been impleaded in the matter.Essentially, this order has been issued by the division bench of Justice Ajay Tewari and Justice Pankaj Jain which was hearing a bunch of 27 cases related to the suspension...
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has sought the response of the State Election Commission, Punjab to ensure 'Drug-free Elections' and for this purpose, the Election Commission of India has also been impleaded in the matter.
Essentially, this order has been issued by the division bench of Justice Ajay Tewari and Justice Pankaj Jain which was hearing a bunch of 27 cases related to the suspension of sentence in NDPS cases.
While directing the registry to segregate 17 petitions out of 27 matters before it (to be listed for hearing individually), the Court disposed of the rest 10 petitions by suspending the sentences on account of the prolonged incarceration of the petitioners in those matters.
The Court sought the reply of the Election Commission after observing that the assembly elections for the state of Punjab have already been notified and after taking cognizance of the fact that there have been incidents of 'Drugs for Vote' in elections in Punjab.
In this regard, the Court also referred to a statement made by the Former Chief Election Commissioner with respect to the 2012 elections, wherein it was said that in one month alone recovery of around 55 kgs of heroin and around 430 kgs of poppy husk was made in the State and that almost every psychotropic substance was found in circulation during elections.
Further, the Court also stressed the importance of the role that ought to be played by the state government in such matters. The Court, at the outset, said that being a welfare State, the state of Punjab apart from registering cases, needs to wake up to the challenge as it has a role bigger than mere policing.
The Court also averred that the Picture showing gold smoked mustard fields with the proud prosperous farmer used to showcase this land of five rivers, however, today Punjab is related to a portrait of a wailing mother holding the corpse of her son who died of a drug overdose as well.
The Court remarked that this malady has gripped the society and the same cannot afford to be in a state of inertia and therefore, it is for the State to shoulder the responsibility to catalyze such response. The time has come for the society and the State to look upstream.
"This Court is sure that there must be some individual efforts being made by public spirited citizens on the issue of drugs, but the menace by now is beyond the individual efforts. These efforts need to be integrated to respond to this ailment...This makes out a case for State to look beyond deterrent measure in the form of NDPS Act and evolve reformative measures as well." the Court further added.
Posting the matter for further hearing on January 20, 2022, the Court also sought the reply of the Punjab Government on the following issues:
Case title - Bhupender Singh Vs. Narcotic Control Bureau and other connected matters
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