Drug problem serious threat to public health, safety of humanity: HC

 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has said that the drug problem is a serious threat to public health, safety and well-being of humanity.

A bench of Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul made the observation while dismissing a plea that had sought to scrap preventive detention of one Muhammad Ashraf Dar of district Pulwama under Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

Dar has been placed under preventive detention on the basis of an order issued by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir on May 25 last year so as to prevent him from committing illegal activities coming within the purview of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

The drug problem is a serious threat to public health, safety and well-being of humanity,” the court said, adding, “our global society is facing serious consequences of drug abuse and it undermines the socio-economic and political stability and sustainable development”.

Drug trafficking and abuse, the court said, has continued its significant toll on valuable human lives and productive years of many persons around the globe.

The Court observed that with the growth and development of the world economy, drug traffickers are also seamlessly trafficking various type of drugs from one corner to the another ensuring availability of contrabands for vulnerable segment of society who fall into the trap of drug peddlers and traffickers. “Due to India’s close proximity with major opium growing areas of the region, India is facing serious menace of drug trafficking and as a spill-over effect, drug abuse especially among the youth is a matter of concern for us,” it said.

The Constitution framers, the court said, had visualised danger of misuse of such type of substances and, thus, made it part of directives issued to the State. “The Directive Principles, which are part of our Constitution, lay down that the State shall make endeavours to bring about the prohibition of substances injurious for health except for medicinal and scientific purposes”.

While the court underscored that in recent years, India has been facing a problem of transit traffic in illicit drugs, it said the spillover from such traffic has caused tribulations of abuse and addiction.  “This trend has created an illicit demand for drugs within the country”.

The illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, the court said, poses a serious threat to the health and welfare of the people and activities of persons engaged in such illicit traffic have a deleterious effect on the national economy as well.

Observing that in certain areas which are highly vulnerable to the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and such activities of a considerable magnitude are clandestinely organised and carried on, the court said it is necessary for the effective prevention of such activities to provide for detention of persons concerned in any manner therewith. 

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