Drug Prevention Law - NDPS Act


The Drug control laws in India can be followed back to the Opium Act of 1857. This was trailed by the Opium Act of 1878 and the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1930. These laws were intended to control and screen the utilization of some particular medications in constrained settings. The clearest appearance of this general guideline with regards to well-being can be found in Article 25 of the UDHR and Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, which try to advance the most noteworthy feasible measures of physical and psychological well-being.

Keywords Narcotic, NDPS, Drugs, psychotropic substance,


The word narcotic in the legal field is quite different from that used in the medical context, denotes a sleep-inducing agent. Legally, a narcotic drug may be an opiate -a true narcotic, cannabis - a non-narcotic or cocaine - the very antithesis of a narcotic, since it is a stimulant. The term 'psychotropic substance' denotes mind-altering drugs such as Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), Phencyclidine, Amphetamines, Barbiturates, Methaqualone, and designer drugs (MDMA, DMT, etc.).


An Act to consolidate and amend the law referring to narcotic drugs, to form stringent provisions for the reduction and regulation of operations referring to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, to supply for the forfeiture of property derived from illegal traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, to implement the provisions of the International Conventions on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and for matters connected with it.


The Act was originally passed in 1985 and spread over six chapters comprising 83 sections. After being amended by the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (amendment act), 1988 with effect from 29th May 1989, the Act now contains eight chapters.

Chapter IV

Chapter IV (Sections 15-40) describes the penalties for offences under the Act. These offences are primarily related to violations of the various prohibitions imposed under the Act on the cultivation, production, manufacture, distribution, sale, import, and export, etc. of the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

The small and commercial quantity is specified by the Central Government as follows :

● Amphetamine: Small quantity - 2 gms, commercial quantity - 50 gms.

● Cocaine: small quantity - 2 gms, commercial quantity - 100 gms.

● Codeine: small quantity - 10 gms, commercial quantity - 1 kg.

● Ganja: small quantity - 1 kg, commercial quantity - 20 kg.

● Heroin: small quantity - 5 gms, commercial quantity - 250 gms.

● Morphine: small quantity - 5 gms, commercial quantity - 250 gms.

● Poppy straw: small quantity - 1 kg, commercial quantity - 50 kg.

- In case of small quantity, rigorous imprisonment up to one year with/ without fine up to Rs. 10,000.

- In case the quantity is between small and commercial, rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years and fine up to Rs. 1 lakh.

- In cases involving commercial quantity, rigorous imprisonment between 10-20 years and fine ranging between Rs. 1 and 2 lakh rupees.

- The punishment for subsequent offenses can be up to one and a half times the main offense's quantum of punishment. Therefore, the punishment would differ from 1.5 long periods of thorough detainment to 30 years of thorough detainment, relying upon the gravity of the offense.


1. An intriguing element of the demonstration is that the methodology of expansion and erasure from the arrangements of produced drugs (opiate drugs) and psychotropic substances have been made basic. No conventional bill or correction is required for a reason, and the legislature has been engaged to do such changes through basic warnings in the official periodical based on accessible data or a choice under any worldwide show.

2. As far as subsection 3 of section 4, the Narcotics Control Bureau was set up by the Central Government in 1986 with the wide transmit to broadly facilitate medicate law authorization. The NCB fundamentally works as national facilitator worldwide contact and as the nodal point for the assortment and dispersal of knowledge and guarantees composed usage inside the parameters of a wide national methodology.

3. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances Consultative council makes critical commitments in molding and building up a national arrangement and technique and in issues of corrections for planning expansion or cancellation of medications and substances for lawful guideline and control. The board additionally gives important contributions to India's commitment to the embellishment of worldwide approach and projects.

4. A reassessment of the Act in 2001 brought about changes identifying with the length of detainment and the amount and kind of medication seized. This is guaranteed, where conventional medications are concerned, just people with huge amounts of cannabis can be captured for tranquilizing dealing and face detainment. Further changes in the law in 2002 made two classifications depending on the amount seized. These were characterized as small amounts and business amounts.

5. Section 31A states that any individual indicted by a skilled court of criminal purview outside India under any relating law will be managed as though he has been sentenced by a court in India. In this manner, worldwide crooks are likewise managed viably.

6. Someone who is addicted and indicted under section 27 might be discharged waiting on the post-trial process under section 39 in the wake of marking a bond with or without sureties, detoxification, or dependence from a medical clinic or an establishment kept up or perceived by the Government. The conviction would stand, and the sentence stays in cessation to empower him to report back on effective consumption of de habit treatment inside one year. The court may coordinate the arrival of the wrongdoer after the effective finishing of de enslavement treatment and avoiding the commission of any offense under Chapter IV for a long time. On the inability to do as such, he would need to serve a sentence.

7. The ability to give search and seizure warrants has been vested both in Magistrates as far as Section 41 been vested just as in uncommonly assigned (Gazetted) officials of the Central and State Governments. This is intended to guarantee both convenient and successful activity in light of any data and to block the requirement for legal fulfillment each time a warrant is required to be given.

8. Under section 64 , any junkie, who is accused of an offense punishable under section 27 or with offenses including the little amount of opiate drugs or psychotropic substances, who deliberately tries to experience clinical treatment for de-compulsion from a medical clinic or an establishment kept up or perceived by the Government or a neighborhood authority and experiences such treatment will not be subject to an indictment under section 27 or some other segment for offenses including the little amount of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. This invulnerability might be pulled back if someone addicted doesn't experience the total treatment for de-enslavement.

9. Chapter V-A was brought into the Act in May 1989 to accommodate the examination, freezing, seizure, and relinquishment of property got from or gained through unlawful dealing in opiate drugs and psychotropic substances.

Landmark Judgements

Section 50 of the Act provides the accused of the right to be searched in the presence of the magistrate or a gazetted officer. This right has been upheld by the SC in the case of State of Punjab V. Balbir Singh 1994 AIR 1872, where it was held that the police officer must, of necessity, inform the accused about his right.

E.Michael Raj v. Intelligence officer, Narcotic Control Bureau,

The court held that the drug's actual weight in the Mixture would matter under the NDPS Act, and the weight of the neutral Substances can be excluded.

Hira Singh v. Union of India,

The court overruled and held that the neutral substances in the Mixture must also be taken into account with actual drug weight to Determine Small or commercial Quantity.


The last twenty-seven years have seen ascend inside the battle against tranquilizing reliance, especially the regions of arrangement definition and development of the framework. This can be admirable. What right now is not yet clear is that the adequacy and effect of the various measures started. it's basic to claim investigation, and ensuing alterations of plans and approaches bolstered compelling examination. With no systematic investigation, plans would be that - plans.


Mohamed Sultan Maricar

Crescent School of Law, chennai

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