The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Health and Family Welfare ministry on a PIL which sought immediate steps to combat the drug menace in the country.
A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur also asked the Centre to spell out the action taken by it for implementation of the recent direction on ensuring safe custody of narcotics and psychotropic substances seized by the enforcement agencies.
“What is being done to ensure that the seized drugs do not re-enter the market. We would like to know”, the bench told the lawyer representing the centre.
The apex court also asked the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to inform it about the progress in setting up de-addiction centers for rehabilitation of drug addicts.
A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur asked the Centre’s counsel to take instructions from the departments concerned and apprise it within six weeks.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by one Pune-based lawyer Vineet Dhanda
“It is with extreme distress that the petitioner has been reading in the newspapers regarding the increasing menace and threat of drug addiction in India which is literally driving the youth of this country to various health hazards and also premature deaths which are caused due to the addiction of deadly drugs in India. The Government of India and the State Governments have failed miserably in controlling the rising menace throughout the country as no strict actions are being taken to check and prevent drug peddling, drug trafficking and drug addictions in the country”, Vineet’s father and Advocate J P Dhanda argued.
“The Students and young children are soul and pillars for the bright future of our country and it gives a compulsory duty on the state and its authorities to protect these innocent children from falling prey to any sort of addiction be it of alcohol or deadly drugs and other harmful addictive substances which not only affects the health of these children but also kills them. In various major cities of our country like Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Goa, Delhi, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Thane, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and other major cities of North Eastern States, problem of drug peddling, drug addiction is on steep rise among the age group between 14 to 30 years and also amongst various other age groups. It is sorry state of affair that drug peddling and drug-addiction has increased many fold but the police and the Government is sleeping over this issue as no coercive action seems to be taken by the police or the Government to control the menace of drug peddling and drug addiction in cities mentioned above across the country”, said the PIL.