Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
6. The present Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985 is more punitive than reformative in its approach since drug peddling is part of Organised crimes. However, there is a need for the act to treat user as a victim rather than as a criminal. Critically comment. (250 words)
Difficulty level: Moderate
Reference: The Hindu
Why the question:
Recently, the ministry of social justice and empowerment stated that the users and dependents caught with small quantities of drugs and their families should be treated as “victims” and not culprits of substance abuse.
Key Demand of the question:
To analyse the various issues associated with present NDPS and suggest effective changes.
Critically comment – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary. When ‘comment’ is prefixed, we must express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.
Structure of the answer:
Begin by stating the present stringent structure of the NDPS Act.
First, bring out the arguments that the drug users are victims addicted to it and needs institutional care than going through rigorous punishments on the same lines as that of the supplier.
Next, mention the need to sensitise the investigative agencies to understand and distinguish the different motives of the supplier and user.
Next, mention the cause-effect relation that the user and supplier has in order to maintain the illicit drug supply network and the need for some kind of fear psychosis even among the users and complete benefit of doubt to the victim has the threat of more people falling into drug addiction.
Conclude by stating the need for more sensitisation of the health and legal impacts of drug use and supply and also to up the institutional care of the victims.