Possession of drugs is a criminal offence in India under Section 27 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The law prescribes imprisonment of up to a year or a fine of up to Rs 20,000, or both, for consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
Referring to the law, the Union Minister of state for social justice and empowerment, Ramdas Athawale said “Our ministry says that we should try to make a drug addict drug mukt. That is why we have come out with a circular that people should not take drugs but if one does take drugs then putting them in jail is not right and there must be a change in this law.”
The social justice and empowerment ministry recently suggested decriminalising possession of small quantities of drugs for personal consumption in its recommendations submitted to the Revenue Department over review of the Narcotic Drugs and Psych and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Ministry under Ramdas Athawale suggested that the compulsory treatment in government centres must be given to those caught with small quantities for personal consumption instead of a jail term. Currently, the law says that there must be a compulsory jail term in such cases.