As a law firm with expertise in the field of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, we would like to provide an informative opinion on Section 8 of The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. This section states that any person who contravenes the provisions of this act with respect to narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to twenty years and shall also be liable to fine. This provision applies throughout India.
The aim of this provision is to deter individuals from engaging in illegal activities related to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. It serves as a strong warning against those who may attempt to engage in these dangerous practices by highlighting the severe legal consequences that await them should they choose to do so.
Under Section 2 of the NDPS Act, “narcotic drug” means coca leaf, cannabis (hemp), opium poppy straw, and manufactured drugs such as codeine, fentanyl, heroin etc., while “psychotropic substance” includes all types of synthetic opioids, depressants and stimulants like amphetamines & methamphetamines (commonly known as ‘ICE’), MDMA or Ecstasy tablets/ capsules/sheets imported illegally from foreign countries such as Thailand & Burma etc.
In Raghbir Singh v. State (NCT) Delhi [2011 SCC OnLine Del 2769], the court held that possession alone is enough evidence for conviction under NDPS Act; it is irrelevant whether there was actual consumption or sale involved or not.
Moreover, in Rajinder Kumar Yadav v. State [2007 SCC OnLine Del 924], it was observed by Delhi High Court that mere possibility or suspicion cannot result in conviction under NDPS Act. There must be sufficient material on record proving beyond reasonable doubt about accused’s involvement with illicit drug trafficking or consumption.
Furthermore, in Rajesh Kumar Bhatia v. State of Punjab [2001 SCC OnLine P&H 756], the court held that if an individual is found in possession of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances exceeding commercial quantity then he/she may be presumed to have committed the offence of illegal trafficking.
Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) sometimes find themselves arrested for drug-related offences on their visits to India, which can have severe consequences for them and their families. They face challenges such as language barriers, lack of knowledge about Indian laws and procedures as well as limited access to legal services while being charged under NDPS Act. It becomes crucial for them to seek proper legal representation from lawyers experienced with NDPS cases who are familiar with both domestic & international law governing these cases.
In conclusion, Section 8 of The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 has been enacted with the objective of deterring individuals from engaging in dangerous activities related to illicit drugs. It serves a pivotal role in safeguarding citizens against grave public health risks associated with narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. NRIs must seek competent legal representation when faced with charges under this act to ensure they receive fair trials and adequate protection under both domestic & international law.