The Supreme Court on Thursday demanded to know the progress made on the formulation of the National policy on Drug Demand reduction to check substance abuse among children.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed the matter to be listed on 20 August to enable Additional Solicitor General, Ms. Pinky Anand, to inform the Court about the steps taken on the judgment delivered in the case of Bachpan Bachao Andolan v. Union of India.
It further observed, “We hope and trust that the learned ASG would be in a position to inform us about the steps taken, which will assist us for the purpose of implementation of the judgment.”
The Supreme Court had, in December 2016, granted the Centre six months time to formulate a National Action Plan for children addicted to alcohol, tobacco, drugs and suffering from other substance abuse. The Bench comprising Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had then asserted, “This is a serious issue and cannot be swept under the carpet”.
Issuing the directions on the petition filed by 2014 Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi’s NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), the Court had also ordered opening of a de-addiction centre for children in every district within six months and the inclusion of awareness against alcoholism and substance abuse in the school curriculum. This included the creation of a standard operating procedure to deter drug peddling and distribution of drugs in schools, child care institutions and on police action to be taken in these cases.
Broadly, it had directed the Centre to:
(i) Complete a national survey and generate a national database within a period of six months;
(ii) Formulate and adopt a comprehensive national plan within four months, which will among other things also address the areas of immediate concern noted earlier; and
(iii) Adopt specific content in the school curriculum under the aegis of NEP.