Shimla, May 25: In the last one year, the Kangra Police had launched a campaign against drug peddlers and psychotropic drug sellers. About two cases were registered by the police under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act against those selling psychotropic drugs in Kangra district. Huge quantities of psychotropic drugs were also seized. However, despite registration of about 200 cases, charge sheet has been filed in just three cases, sources here said.
The delay in filing charge sheet in such cases is hampering the efforts of the police that wanted strict action against psychotropic drug peddlers. As per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, only drug inspectors can file charge sheet in court. The police after arresting the accused under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act have to handover the cases to the drug inspector concerned.
Ashish Rana, drug inspector, Dharamsala, said 49 cases were registered by the Kangra Police under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act in the last one year. Out of these, charge sheet had been filed in just two cases. In 26 cases, prosecution sanction had been sought from the state drug controller, while in the rest of the cases investigation was still going on, the drug inspector said.
In Kangra district there were three drug inspectors at the Dharamsala, Palampur and Nurpur region. In all, these three regions about 200 cases have been registered by the police, but charge sheet has been filed in just three cases. Kangra SP Sanjeev Gandhi said under the present set of rules, the police had to handover the case to the drug authorities within 24 hours of arrest of the accused or confiscation of material.
The problem of psychotropic drugs has become a menace in the area. The number of psychotropic drugs seized by the police in the last one year is an illustration to the fact, he said.“ We had written to the state government that the police should be allowed to arrest people besides registered chemists who are involved in peddling of psychotropic drugs. It has been seen that the sale of psychotropic drugs has been adopted as trade by some peddlers and it needs to be checked,” he said.
The Drugs and Cosmetics Act has provisions to protect the registered chemists from harassment at the hands of the police. The police have to handover the cases to drug inspectors as they are supposed to have better knowledge regarding drugs. In cases registered by the Kangra Police it was found that psychotropic drugs in bulk were coming from Jalandhar, Meerut and Delhi for sale in Himachal.
The police till date have failed to trace the sources where such drugs were manufactured and supplied to peddlers.The sources here said provisions under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act were strict and accused could be sentenced to up to 10 years of imprisonment. However, the cases first have to go before the court. In case of Kangra district, the drug authorities are inordinately slow in sending the cases against psychotropic drug smugglers to court.
Source Tribune India