STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: A Division Bench (DB) of State High Court comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan on Monday directed respondents to comply with directions made on December 26, 2018 wherein the bench has sought the status report on de-addiction centres and the timeline within which the Narcotics Division and the Forensic Science Laboratories would be set up and steps for effecting the recruitment to the necessary posts be completed, or else the Director of the Department of Home shall remain present in the court on next date of hearing. The court directions came in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Atharv Mahajan and Court on its own motion, regarding low conviction rate and acquittal in many of NPDS cases. After hearing Advocate Deepika Mahajan appearing for the PIL, the DB observed that status report dated February 7, 2019 has been filed by Shakeel-ur-Rehman, Special Secretary to Government, Home Department which relates with regard to only proposal for establishment of two Forensic Narcotic Divisions at FSLs, Jammu and Srinagar. Upon this, the DB directed to file status report afresh with regard to these laboratories on the next date. DB further observed that last order has not been complied with at all. There is no report with regard to the creation of de-addiction centres. DB further observed that in Para 10 of aforesaid report, the respondents have indicated with the geographical locations of de-addiction and rehabilitation Centres at nine places in the State. “Let the respondents give us details of the intake capacity of these centres in the context of number of persons needing assistance and take a view on the sufficiency thereof”, the court held adding that the Google map which has been enclosed shows that there is not a single De-addiction and Rehabilitation Centre in Ladakh region of the State. The respondents may examine this issue urgently and inform this Court of the necessary steps, Division Bench said. DB further observed that a report regarding whether these centres are really functioning as De-addiction and Rehabilitation Centres shall be filed by the petitioner before us. The respondents shall give address of these facilities to counsel for the PIL No.30/2017, IA Nos.1/2018 and 1/2017, who shall conduct random inspections and report thereof. DB further observed that a status report dated 26th December, 2018 has been filed by the Director General of Police, J&K in purported compliance of the orders dated July 3, 2012 passed by the Supreme Court of India in Criminal Appeal No.652 of 2012, Union of India versus Mohan Lal and others. DB also asked Registrar General to place before the bench a copy of an affidavit / compliance report which was filed by the High Court on clarifications received from the Home Department dated February 26, 2015 in the Registry. Observing that adequate storage facilities for drugs and psychotropic substances which are seized by the police is not available, the DB directed the State Government to examine this issue and make available alternative land for construction of the storage facilities of the seized material before the next date of hearing.
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