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Intricacies of NDPS Act 1985


Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act also usually called the NDPS Act, made with the determination to control drugs of abuse and forbid its use, debauchery, delivery, manufacture, and skill of material of abuse. Narcotic drugs are those which persuade sleep while psychotropic materials have the aptitude to alter the mind of a separate. NDPS Act came into being on 14 November 1985 by the Parliament of India. Though, these kinds of drugs have their position in the practice of medicine. Thus, the act also has supplies for the farming of cannabis, poppy, or coca plants and the production of any psychotropic materials dealing with the medicinal practices. The main agenda of the act is to have control over the manufacture, ownership, sale, and conveyance of such narcotic and psychotropic matters. The act bans around 200 psychotropic ingredients subsequent upon these drugs are not obtainable over the hostage for any walk-in discrete. These medications are on sale only when medicine for the same is available. Defilement of this law may result in punishment including severe custody or fine or both. The degree of the sentence is reliant upon the harshness of the case being dealt with. If the drugs are used for individual use then the punishment may be lesser. Although since the founding of the law, it has been edited time and again. But due to the obtainability of artificial drugs and issues connecting to street drugs and designer drugs, the problem in dealing with new drugs having the nature of the substance of abuse is a difficult task. Besides NDPS also lacks in distinguishing among users, drug peddler, and hardcore offenders in this drug employment. The present study is an impression on the NDPS act and its capability.

Keywords: Narcotics; Psychotropic substance; NDPS; Prohibition


The bill was presented in the Lok Sabha on 23 August 1985. It was accepted by both the Houses of Legislature, conservative assent from then President Giani Zail Singh on 16 September 1985, and enforced on 14 November 1985. The NDPS Act has since been corrected thrice — in 1988, 2001, and 2014. The Act spreads to the whole of India and it smears also to all Indian people outside India and to all people on ships and aircraft listed in India.

The Narcotics Control Bureau[i] was set up under the act and came in enforce from March 1986. The Act is envisioned to attain India's treaty obligations under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

What are the purposes and Resolutions of ratifying the NDPS Act, 1985?

During India's Pre-Independence old-fashioned, India has contributed to the 2nd International Opium Meeting, where it has decided to switch the exploitation and unlawful exportation and import of unsafe drugs and then passed the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930. But this Act unsuccessful to control the misuse of drugs and illicit transport because the penalty that is given to the offenders is custody lowest of a year and extreme for 4 years with a fine of Rs.1000.

The Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930, has only enclosed the sedative drugs, and with the progression in science and discoveries, the psychotropic materials were not presented in the Act. The investigation officers were not given adequate power to work out their investigation. So, to cover all the shortages of the Act, the NDPS Act, 1985.[ii]

The objective and purpose of the Act are given below:

· With the performance of the Act, as per section 3 of the Act, the Central Government is authorized to adopt the psychotropic materials list after captivating note of the important misuse of such materials.

· As per section 6 and section 7 of the Act, the Central Government and the State Government are official for the formation of the NDPS group, where the memberships of the board will look after the well-organized release of its purpose that is to switch the misuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic materials.

· The Act also recognized the National fund for drug misuse the purpose of the fund as per section 7A(2)[viii] is below.

1. Fighting illicit circulation in narcotic drugs, psychotropic materials, or controlled materials;

2. Regulatory the abuse of narcotic drugs and psychoactive materials;

3. Identifying, giving, rehabilitating hooks;

4. Stopping drug abuse;

5. Humanizing the public in contradiction of drug abuse;

6. As long as drugs to addicts where such source is a medical requirement.

· As per section 8A of the Act, if any person is forbidden who obtains, changes possess or covers that are owned or transported knowingly that such property is resulting from the offense dedicated under this Act. And the punishment is given to the affronted as per section 27A of the Act where severe incarceration, not less than three ages and not more than 10 years with fine.

· The Act also quantified the number of narcotic medications and psychotropic matters under section 31 A, and even adjudicators on its pleasure can award the death penalty for those who are found shamefaced under section 16, 24, and 27A of the Act, which was corrected in 2014.

The main objective of the NDPS Act, 1985, is to start a healthy atmosphere and to chastise severely those who try to contaminate the mind of a separate by provision them such drugs by barring its export and import countrywide and globally and solely use it for the progression of medical science. Also, to assimilate those who are going through the problem of regulatory the need.


India had no legislation regarding narcotics until 1985. Cannabis smoking in India has been known since at least 2000 BC and is first specified in the Atharvaveda, which dates back a few hundred years BC. The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission,[iii] an Indo-British study of cannabis repetition in India chosen in 1893, originate that the "moderate" use of halter drugs was "practically joined by no evil results at all", "produces no harmful effects on the mind" and "no moral injury whatever". Concerning "excessive" use of the drug, the Commission decided that it "may surely be accepted as very harmful, though it must be self-proclaimed that in many extreme consumers the injury is not noticeable". The report the Commission shaped was at least 3,281 pages long, with testament from almost 1,200 "doctors, coolies, yogis, fakirs, heads of lunatic asylums, bhang peasants, tax-gatherers, runners, army officers, hemp traders, ganja palace workers, and the priesthood."

Cannabis and its derivatives (marijuana, hashish/charas, and bhang) were legally sold in India until 1985, and their frivolous use was ordinary. Feasting of cannabis was not seen as socially deviant conduct and was experiential as being alike to the ingesting of alcohol. Ganja and charas were careful by upper-class Indians as the poor man's intoxicating, although the rich spent bhang during Holi. The United States began the movement for a worldwide law against all drugs, following the acceptance of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1961. However, India opposite the move, and withstood American pressure to make cannabis unlawful for nearly 25 years. American heaviness augmented in the 1980s, and in 1985, the Rajiv Gandhi government submitted and passed the NDPS Act, proscribing all narcotic drugs in India.


Anybody who flouts the NDPS Act will have to face punishment based on the quantity of the barred substance.

• Where the flouting includes a small quantity, with hard incarceration for a term which may extend to 1 year, or with a fine which may spread to ₹10,000 (US$140) or both;

• Where the contravention includes a quantity lesser than profitable quantity but greater than a small amount, with hard custody for a period which may extend to 10 years and with fine which may spread to ₹1 lakh (US$1,400);

• Where the breaking involves a commercial amount, with difficult imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 10 years but which may cover to 20 years and also a fine which shall not be less than ₹1 lakh (US$1,400) but which may spread to ₹2 lakh (US$2,800).

The table below tilts the current meaning of a small quantity and a profitable amount for some generic drugs.


Throughout the discussion of the Bill in Parliament, several memberships opposed it for giving hard and lenient drugs as the same. However, the Rajiv Gandhi administration demanded that soft drugs were gateway drugs.

The NDPS Act was criticized in The Times of India. The paper labeled the law as "impractical" and "poorly thought-out" due to the law as long as the same sentence for all drugs, which meant that traders removed their focus to firmer drugs, where incomes are far higher. The paper also contended that the Act had "actually shaped a drugs problem where there was none." The Times of India optional that some of the softer drugs should be lawful, as this might decrease the level of heroin habit.

In 2015, Lok Sabha MP Tathagata Satpathy disapproved of the ban on cannabis as "elitist", and classification cannabis the "intoxicant" of the poor. He also felt that the ban was "an overreaction to a scare shaped by the United States". Sathpathy has also supported the ratification of cannabis. On 2 November 2015, Lok Sabha MP Dharamvir Gandhi proclaimed that he had received permission from Parliament to table a Private Member's Bill looking to amend the NDPS Act to allow for the legalized, regulated, and pathologically oversaw source of "non-synthetic" intoxicants including cannabis and opium.

In November 2016, former commissioner of the Central Bureau of Narcotics Romesh Bhattacharji said of the law, "This wants to be debated in the face of such stiff unawareness which often takes root in the moral high estates people take after being prejudiced by the UN conventions. This law [NDPS Act] has been hounding people since 1985".

1988 Amendment

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Act, 1988 (Act No. 2 of 1989) received assent from then-President Ramaswamy Venkataraman on 8 January 1989.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Act, 2001 (Act No. 9 of 2001) received an agreement from then-President K. R. Narayanan on 9 May 2001.[iv]

Critical Analysis

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Government of India has plotted the National Drug Dependence Treatment Center, AIIMS, Delhi, in 2019. This review was showed to determine the number of drug addicts by plotting five lakhs persons within the country.

The following are the number of possible operators of the following medications from the age group of 10 to 75 years of age:

· Alcohol- 16 crore users

· Cannabis- 1.3 crore users

· Opioid- 2.3 crore users

· Inhalant users- 77 lakh users

· Cocaine- 10.7 lakh users

Other damaging drugs and substances are still providing in the country by possible drug dealers. Although there is severe penalty available for the breadwinners and the users, yet documentation of potential drug dealers is not made efficiently. By taking note of the users of the damaging drugs, the important portion of the country is still pretentious and mainly the teenagers.


The NDPS Act, 1985, is passed to control, manage and forbid the manufacture, sale, exportation and introduction, usage, etc. in the public attention because its abuse can eventually take away the life of an acquitted. This Act has also been recently edited regarding the satisfying of the death consequence under section 31A, and it was made an optional sentence.

Submitted by,

Ragini Rathore,

Law Faculty of Agra College.


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