The Centre is considering transferring the administration of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988 from the Finance ministry to Ministry of Home Affairs to bring all issues related to narcotics under one department, sources said.
Currently, while the Home Ministry governs the Narcotics Control Bureau, the Department of Revenue (DoR) in the Finance Ministry administers the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act of 1985 and the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1988.
Transfer of administration of the two Acts from DoR to MHA is under deliberation, two sources briefed on the matter said.
E-mails sent to Ministry of Finance and MHA for comments remained unanswered.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is a central law enforcement and intelligence agency that has been tasked with combating drug trafficking and the use of illegal substances under the provisions of the NDPS Act.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, commonly referred to as the NDPS Act, prohibits a person from the production/manufacturing/cultivation, possession, sale, purchase transport, storage, and/or consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (PITNDPS) Act, 1988 provides for detention in certain cases for the purpose of preventing illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
Sources said the transfer was being considered under the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961.
According to the Rules, DoR looks after "all matters relating to international conventions, agreements, protocols, etc., in respect of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals" except those allocated to MHA.
It has a Narcotics Department but the Narcotics Control Bureau is with MHA.
The MHA looks after "all matters relating to Narcotics Control Bureau set up under the provisions of Section 4(3) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and coordination of all measures for preventing and combating abuse of and illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances."
It also looks at "all matters relating to international conventions, agreements, protocols, etc., in respect of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals which the Ministry of Home Affairs and organizations under it are authorized to deal with except matters allocated to the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue." Transferring administration of the NDPS Act and PITNDPS to MHA will lead to a single command chain and unification of all matters related to narcotics, sources said.
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