Concerned over the menace of drug peddling, drug addiction and other drugs trafficking issues spreading in Uttarakhand and its school, colleges and universities, the Uttarakhand High Court has, on the lines of Delhi High Court, declared fluids/thinners and vulcanized solutions/sulochans as “intoxicating liquor” and banned their sale throughout the state while directing constitution of narcotics squad in every district to keep an eye on drug trafficking, anti-drugs clubs in education institutions, besides a series of other directions.
A bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari said drug menace must be sternly dealt with and all governmental agencies should strictly enforce the provisions of the law.
So concerned was the bench about youngsters falling prey to drug addiction that it directed the state government to include a mandatory and comprehensive chapter on drug abuse and illicit trafficking and its socio-economic cost to self, society and the country in the syllabus for 10+1 and 10+2 students.
The court in its oral order referred extensively to the Delhi High Court order in case titled Aasha v. State Government of NCT of Delhi and Another wherein the bench considered the order of Juvenile Justice Board-III which gave a wide interpretation to the expression “intoxicating liquor” to include substances such as whitener, thinner and vulcanizing solutions/sulochans for understanding of Section 77 of the JJ Act to include not just the traditionally understood liquors which are consumed as alcoholic beverages, but also other liquids/fluids, which have the effect of intoxication and which may not be beverages per se.
The Delhi High Court had also issued directions to the Delhi Police to have a control over the supply chain, including the constitution of narcotics squad.
The Uttarakhand High Court was hearing petition praying for strict enforcement of Section 71 of the NDPS Act.
The bench quoted from the National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, according to which drug addiction is increasingly becoming an area of concern as traditional moorings, effective social taboos, emphasis on self- restraint and pervasive control and discipline of the joint family and community are eroding with industrialization and urbanization.
Noting that “[b]oth traditional and semi-synthetic and synthetic drugs are abused. Intravenous drug use and HIV/AIDS driven by such use have added a new dimension to the problem, especially in the North-eastern states of the country”, the Uttarakhand High Court disposed of the writ petitions by issuing the following mandatory directions including on the analogy of the directions issued by Delhi High Court in the case of Aasha v. State Government of NCT of Delhi and Another: