Don't ignore drug addiction issue: HC to Govt

Don't ignore drug addiction issue: HC to Govt

The direction followed after advocate Javed Iqbal, on behalf of petitioner, submitted that the mental healthcare has been ignored by the state and its functionaries.

The High Court has directed the Jammu and Kashmir government to consider the issue of drug addiction “on a special platform adopted by other states.”

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of justices Ramalingam Sudhakar and MK Hanjura held that the issue relating to drug addiction will have to be considered on the special platform as has been adopted by other states by setting up drug de-addiction centers and rehabilitation units for the victims.

The direction followed after advocate Javed Iqbal, on behalf of petitioner, submitted that the mental healthcare has been ignored by the state and its functionaries. 

It’s a criminal act on part of the government to ignore the mental healthcare, he argued.

“It’s unfortunate, unfair, unreasonable and violates the constitutional mandate,” Iqbal pleaded.  

State counsel Bashir Ahmed Dar submitted that the said centers are already in place in Jammu and Srinagar and are managed by the Home department. These centers have been set up to tackle the menace of drug abuse in the state, he said.

Following the submissions, the court ordered the chief secretary to hold meetings with NGOs so that the issue which impacts the citizens of the state would be considered on the special platform keeping in light the matter adopted by other states.

Advocate Iqbal told the court that in J&K, particularly in Kashmir, the WHO guidelines, national mental health programmes and policies have been completely ignored.

“Drug addiction treatment and control facilities are universally considered as one of the most important components of overall mental health care services. This is the reason that comprehensive drug dependents treatment and rehabilitative services stand established all over the world and in different states across the country,” he told the court.

The court observed it is the duty of the state to revisit the issue relating to control of drugs as per the experience gathered from the other states and various international forums dealing with the control of drug addiction.