STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: A Division Bench (DB) of State High Court comprising Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur took serious note of the low conviction in NDPS cases and issued directions to SSP Jammu.
The court directives came in a Public Interest Litigation filed by Arthav Mahajan a student of law seeking initiation of a special drive by J&K Police in the entire State for checking the growing menace of drugs amongst youths and a PIL regarding low conviction in cases under NDPS Act.
After hearing Senior Advocate Sunil Sethi with Advocate Veenu Gupta and Advocate Deepika Mahajan for the PIL, the DB observed that pursuant to the directions given by this Court, certain Standard Operating Procedures have been put in place with regard to the recovery and investigation in the cases of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. The Standard Operating Procedures were put in place on September 25, 2017. Two Monitoring Cells have also been established at the Provincial level for Jammu and Kashmir by an order dated February 6, 2018.
Division Bench directed respondents to file a status report, indicating whether the Standard Operating Procedures have been implemented in letter and spirit and what are the tangible results of the new Standard Operating Procedures.
Division Bench observed that during the course of hearing, Senior Advocate Sunil Sethi, appearing as an Amicus Curiae, submitted that it is general knowledge that the drugs are being supplied to the school and college students and are available in particular areas within Jammu City and he is ready to give the information with regard to these areas. Upon this, the DB directed respondents to ensure that the locations, that are provided by Sethi are monitored and a report should be submitted with regard to the action taken.
Division Bench feels that it would be appropriate, if the SSP Jammu carries out this exercise. “Any input that may be necessary from Sethi would be provided by him. Certain locations where the drugs are allegedly freely sold have also been mentioned in WPPIL No. 30/2017 in paragraph 6 (Bahu Plaza, University of Jammu, Green Belt Park specifically Panch Mandir lane, Talab Tillo, Batra Road, Gorkha Nagar, Qasim Nagar, Circular Road, where sale and consumption of drugs can be openly observed. Even the drugs are being delivered at home. Even movement of cars from Bajalta up to Surinsar Lake by youngsters in inebriated condition is a daily affair and Police is mum on this matter thereof. The same may also be got investigated by the SSP Jammu”, the court observed.
DB further directed to Police Department may consider constituting a Specialized Team to deal with cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and file response in this regard before the next date of hearing.
Division Bench also sought information as to whether, in cases where the recoveries are made of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the Investigating Team also investigates the source of supply of these Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
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