According to World Health Organisation , "Worldwide about 0.5 millions deaths
are attributable to drug use". Narcotics can be defined as any kind of drugs
which is addictive. Narcotics are involved in wide range of medicines we intake
today. Prescribed use of narcotics will help us to gain good health.
when start using at more than prescribed or unprescribed it becomes an agent
which kills their own lives. Government of India had taken various steps to
prevent illegal use of drugs and introduced a body called Narcotics Control
Bureau. This article speaks about the method followed by the police department
in controlling the drug mafia and the issues therefor arises in the department
which makes them difficult to pursuit the drug dealers.
Narcotics is actually derived from Greek word 'Narke' meaning numbness or
torpor. 1 Narcotics in general sense means a drug that causes insensibility to
the users. The intake of substances which are under the term narcotics makes the
user become unaware of his own surroundings. Narcotics are also defined as drugs
that can change the psychic and physical status of a person- reduce pain, induce
sleep, alter mood or behavior,
All narcotic substances are not illegal. The use of narcotics at a certain
degree for medical purposes does not cause any harm. But excessive intake of
these drugs may lead to various physical and psychological ills. For example,
intake of Opioids can be a medicine to diarrhea and coughing. But excessive
intake of the same can lead to coma, permanent brain damage and even death.
The 1961 International Convention establishes strict controls on the cultivation
of opium poppy, coca bush, cannabis plant and their products, which, in the
Convention, are described as "narcotic drugs" (although cocaine is a stimulant
drug rather than one that induces sleep).
Control is exercised over 141 narcotic drugs, mainly natural products, such as
opium and its derivatives, morphine, codeine and heroin, but also synthetic
drugs, such as methadone and pethidine, as well as cannabis and coca leaf.2
The Government of India introduced an independent body known as The Narcotics
Control Bureau in 1986 under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
This is the body which takes the necessary measures to control the drug abuses
happening all throughout the India.
Narcotics Control Bureau:
The Narcotics Control Bureau is the apex coordinating agency under the control
Ministry of Home Affairs. This body was formed by drawing its power from the
Article 47 of the Indian Constitution which provides that the state to endeavor
to bring about to prohibition of consumption, except for medicinal purposes of
intoxicating drugs injurious to health. In short, the Government of India set up
the Narcotic Control Bureau (in short NCB) to establish a drug free society
except for medicinal purposes.
Also, the Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 which came into
existence on 14th November, 1985 made an express provision for constituting a
central authority to exercise the powers and functions of the Central Government
under the act. The NCB was constituted on 17th March, 1986. The NCB is an Indian
Central law Enforcement and Intelligence agency.
This department is tasked with the coordination of Indian state governments and
other Central departments. Its main duty is to combat the drug trafficking and
use of illegal substance which are prohibited under the Narcotics and
Psychotropic Substances Act (in short NDPS act), 1985. This body works as a
fence to tackle with drug dealing and mass drug
The NCB's headquarters is situated at New Delhi. Its field units and offices are
organized by zones and are located in Mumbai, Indore, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai,
Lucknow, Jodhpur, Chandigarh, Jammu, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Guwahati and Patna.
These zones have further prominent areas named sub zones Dehradun, Amristar,
Mandi, Ajmer, Ranchi, Bhubaneshwar, Imphal, Goa, Mandsour, Cochin, Madurai and
The zones and sub-zones collect and analyze data related to seizures of narcotic
drugs and psychotropic substances, study trends, and modus operandi, collect and
disseminate intelligence, and work in close cooperation with the Customs, State
Police, and other law enforcement
agencies like CBI.
The Director General of NCB is mostly an officer from the Indian Police Service
(IPS) or the Indian Revenue Service (IRS). Apart from the direct feeder grade,
officers in this organization are also drawn from Indian Revenue Service, Indian
Police Service and other Paramilitary forces.3
The Narcotics Control Bureau is also represented on the Economic Intelligence
Council. NCB is affiliated to Home Ministry, which was made responsible for
administering The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. The NCB
is outside the ambit of the Right to
information Act under Section 24(1) of the RTI act, 2005.
The NCB is focused on these strategies to control drug abuse, they are:
- To coordinate the actions of state government and other authorities under the NDPS act, Customs Act, Drug and cosmetics act and any other law for the time being in force and in connection with the enforcement of the NDPS act, 1985.
- To implement the obligation against illicit traffic under the various International Conventions and Protocols that are in force in present or which may be ratified or acceded by India in future.
- Assistance to authorities in foreign countries and International Organizations to facilitate coordination and universal action for prevention and suppression of illicit traffic in narcotic substances.
- Coordination of actions taken by the other concerned Ministries, Departments, and Organizations in respect of matters relating to drug abuse.
- Assisting state in enhancing their drug law enforcement.
- Collection and dissemination of intelligence.
- Analysis of seizure data, study of trends and modus operandi. STARTERGY:
- Combating trafficking through appropriate intelligence, interdiction and investigative initiatives.
- Eradicating illicit drug crops.
- Preventing leakage from licit opium crop.
- Implementing a regime of domestic and international trade controls over select precursor chemicals.
- Increasingly targeting assets derived from drug trafficking for confiscation and forfeiture.
The Drug Law Enforcement Officer (in short DLEO) has the duty to collect all
valuable information regarding to illicit drug activities. Illicit drug dealers
often deal secretly, so it should be the duty of these officers to make an
investigation which gives full information and proceed to other steps. Without
proper information the actions taken against them will only be partly effective.
Their sources to get such information maybe Law Enforcement Authority's records
or specific information provided by secret informers or generated through
physical and electronic surveillance of suspects5. The officers must be always
ready to hear a lead about violators of NDPS act. A clue from previous or linked
offenders maybe helpful to ascertain
A custom officer while detecting a case of smuggling of gold
may arrest a
border crosser who indulges in transporting drugs also; or a Company caught by
Central Excise authorities for evading duty by under-reporting production and
clandestine removal of goods; or an Income Tax officer detecting unaccounted
income from a person or industrialist; or a Police officer catching a local
thief or pick pocket may be a good source of information. Secondary sources like
newspapers, books and other publications as well as data from other government
agencies or private bodies/NGOs may provide excellent initial inputs too.
Illicit Drug Crops:
Cultivating drug crops without the license of government is called illegal
Illegal cultivation of drug crops is an offence under NDPS act, the act mainly
punishes the illegal cultivation of Opium and Cannabis. Anyone cultivating opium
illegally is punishable under section 186 and anyone cultivating cannabis
illegally is punishable under section 207 of
the NDPS act. Under section 42 the landholder has the obligation to inform
illegal cultivation in his land to any officer or police officer mentioned in
section 42. If any landholder neglects to
give such information he is punished. Also, under section 44 all Central and
State Government officers who are empowered under section 41,42, or 43 shall
have the power of entry, search, seizure and arrest in relating to offences of
Leakage From Licit Opium Crop:8
India traditionally has been a large producer of opium and has been recognized
internationally. The Central Bureau of Narcotics (in short CBN) has licensed
farmers to cultivate opium poppy in the tracts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh
and Rajasthan. Such
cultivation is only on Central Government account. The entire opium produced by
the farmers is procured by the CBN and transferred to the Government Opium and
Alkaloids Works. The GOAWs dry the opium, export it, supply some quantities to
the State Governments for supplying to addicts, sell some quantities to (Ayurvedic)
Pharmaceutical companies and
transfer the remaining quantities to its Alkaloids plans for extraction of
alkaloids. The GOAWs also manufacture many Alkaloids such as morphine, codeine,
thebaine, noscapine, papaverine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, pholcodine, etc. and
sell them to pharmaceutical companies. But some dealers get hold of these licit
opium crop and direct them towards illicit drug traffickers for higher profit
despite of the strict government measures. Government should make aware the
cultivators about the seriousness of such direction and keep a tight check among
these licit cultivators that all drugs cultivated are handed to the government.
Precursor are chemicals which are necessary for illicit drug manufacturers but
otherwise has a number of legitimate uses. As precursors are difficult to
manufacture illicit drug manufacturers usually get them from licit producers of
precursors. The Government of India thus declared precursors as controlled
substances. Thus, the manufacture, trade, transport, consumption and use are
regulated under Regulation of Controlled Substances (NDPS)
Order, 1993. Thus, under strict surveillance precursors are made available only
legitimate institutions for legitimate purposes by the Government. This
regulation made it difficult to the illicit manufacturers to get hold of
Drugs Confiscation And Forfeiture:9
If on prima facie a substance appears to be a Narcotic drugs or Psychotropic
substances or Controlled substances it can be confiscated under section 42, 43
of the NDPS act (if applicable) as they are liable to be confiscated under
section 60 of the NDPS act. The officers may also confiscate any animal or
conveyance used in carrying these substances. Also, any material, apparatus,
utensils through which such substances are carried may also be
confiscated under the section 60 of the NDPS act. If during a search operation,
the DLEO recovers money which is believed to be sale proceeds of those
substances, he must seize the money as it is liable to be confiscated under
Section 6210. Other contents, even if legal, if found along with those
substances are also liable to confiscation. All the documents found relevant
must also be seized as they will be used as evidence in support of the
prosecution. All these confiscated materials are should be kept in safe custody
tagged along with the place from which it was recovered and manner it was
confiscated until the final documentation is made.
Generally, though NCB is a central enforcement agency various states have
various strategies and mechanisms to control drug abuse. Drug abuse often
happens in a large network. Drugs are not only cultivated and supplied within
India. Some drugs even come from foreign nations and be supplied at a large
quantity in India. These kinds of illicit drug dealers are difficult to be
caught. To tackle them governments often go with long term operations to
completely shut down these drug traffickers. Though these operations are carried
out in different manner there are some common things which are to be followed by
the officer's whatever state they may be:
- Whenever any offence punishable under this Act has been committed, the
narcotic drug, psychotropic substance, controlled substance, opium poppy,
coca plant, cannabis plant, materials, apparatus and utensils in respect of
which or by means of which such offence has been committed, shall be liable
- Any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance 2*or controlled substances+
lawfully produced, imported inter- State, exported inter-State, imported
into India, transported, manufactured, possessed, used, purchased or sold
along with, or in addition to, any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance
2*or controlled substances+ which is liable to confiscation under
sub-section (1) and there receptacles, packages and coverings in which any
narcotic drug or psychotropic substance 2*or controlled substances+,
materials, apparatus or utensils liable to confiscation under sub-section
(1) is found, and the other contents, if any, of such receptacles or
packages shall likewise be liable to confiscation.
- Any animal or conveyance used in carrying any narcotic drug or
psychotropic substance 2*or controlled substance+, or any article liable to
confiscation under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be liable to
confiscation, unless the owner of the animal or conveyance proves that it
was so used without the knowledge or connivance of the owner himself, his
agent, if any, and the person-in-charge of the animal or conveyance and that
each of them had taken all reasonable precautions against such use.
Whatever source the NCB receives information about the illicit drug dealers they
need to verify the information to avoid mishaps. It is more necessary the
information needs to be carefully verified either through personally or through
coordination and cooperation with other officers or agencies in case if the
information of offence found is not during patrol or known drug routes. A failed
operation on the basis of false information may not have bigger effects.
But a failed operation launched on the basis of correct information may end up
alerting that particular drug dealer and he will never be caught again and keep
on continue his illicit business after years.
Before launching an operation, the DELO must verify 4 Ws and 1 H which means Who
((the key persons, carriers, other accomplices), Where (the suspect premises,
meeting points, dealing venues), Why (reasons for selecting a particular place,
premises, vehicles etc.), What ifs (alternatives available to DTOs) and How
(vehicles, routes, concealment methods, etc.). Always they will have a plan B if
thing doesn't go according to plan.11
The DLEO should plan the operations in consultation with higher authorities, his
team members. They shall also gain the assist of other agencies if they deem it
to be necessary. They can request coordination from any agencies/departments
mentioned in section 42 of the NDPS act. Section 5612 of the NDPS act mandates
that these agencies when asked their assistance
through a written request from DLEO unless there is sufficient reason provided
by them in writing. If they refuse to help the DLEO despite of any proper
reasons then they can be tried according to the NDPS act.
To a successful operation the DLEO must provide all the necessary support. They
should be provided with proper vehicle with sufficient fuel, surveillance
equipment (binoculars, night vision devices, mobile phones), search equipment
(torches, tool kits), seal and sealing kits (sealing wax/ lac, sealing envelops,
candles, lighter), stationery and forms like Section 6713 Notice, Section 41 (2)
Search Authorization etc., weighing scales, safety related equipment
contravention of any provisions of this Act,
- call for information from any person for the purpose of satisfying himself whether there has been any contravention of the provisions of this Act or any rule or order made thereunder; URL: example.com/act
- require any person to produce or deliver any document or thing useful or relevant to the enquiry; URL: example.com/document
- examine any person acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case; URL: example.com/examination
(like handcuffs), arms and ammunition, field test kits (standard kit, precursor
chemical kit and ketamine kit), Video camera, among others.
The recent large-scale operation that was took place in India, Operation
Samutragupt captured 2500 kg of smuggled drugs. IPS.Aravindhan who was a part of
this operation explains the lengthy operation. This operation was actually
launched after recovering drugs from many small boats in Cochin which all
contained 250 to 300 kgs of drugs. Frequent capture of
these boats made them launch this operation. He explains the drug route that
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran act as manufacturing hub and they come into
countries like India, Malaysia and some other countries. They are brought to
these countries through legal channel such as containers and illegal channels
such as boat. After the capture of small boats in Cochi in 2022 they studied
their pattern for 6 months and gathered intelligence.
They sought the help of
Navy and through Navy patrolling they discovered their route and activities.
They found out that their was actually a parent ship which contained larger
number of drugs which actually supplied to all these smaller boats. After
gaining all the information from navy and collecting all necessary information
they planned to capture this parent ship. Thus, this operation can be taken as
successful operation which was based on the above said principles.
Authority Helping Dealers:
Though Government takes various steps to prevent illegal drug business and NCB
works hard in implementing the goals of the Government, sometimes it all goes in
vain when the authority (i.e., the police officers) who wants to stop the drug
dealers work along with these dealers for their benefit. More such cases in
India are being recorded that the police officers
themselves have tie with the drug dealers.
Drug operations are generally meant to be carried out in a top-secret manner
that it is not even open to the public to file an RTI. But police officers
having deals with drug dealers makes the whole operation a failure. These
officers leak every single information about the action of the police to the
dealers and help them to sustain in the business without being caught. These
police sometimes even set up locations where these dealers can make their deals
without any intervention by the law. These activities of the policers should be
considered unforgivable and should be dealt with stringent punishments.
14 In Punjab, police officer Rajjit Singh dismissed for his role in drug
dealing. Rajjit Singh, an officer of the Punjab Police Service (PPS), has served
as senior superintendent of police (SSP) in several districts of Punjab. At the
time of his dismissal, he was posted as assistant inspector general (AIG), NRI
The policeman in question - Inderjit Singh - has served as an inspector
at various places in Punjab and was arrested in January 2017 by the state task
force (STF) to control drug abuse. As much as 4 kg of heroin, an AK 47, and Rs
16 lakh is said to have been recovered from his residence in Kapurthala.
subsequently dismissed from service. A special investigation team (SIT) of the
Punjab Police had indicted Rajjit Singh for allegedly patronizing - for several
years - a tainted junior policeman who is accused of facilitating drug
smuggling. According to the SIT reports, found that Rajjit Singh had on two
occasions ensured that Inderjit was posted in the districts he was heading as
The SIT reports further state that huge amounts of money and gifts
were received by Rajjit in the period following 2013
from certain persons. Although Rajjit duly informed the department about these
transactions, the financial capability of the persons he took the loans from
needed to be probed further, the reports add. The SIT said there had been a
sudden rise in the assets acquired by Rajjit and his family
members from 2013.As a result of these after enquiry he was dismissed from his
The Lahore police unearthed another racket allegedly linked to the cross-border
drug smuggling through drones and recommended strong criminal and departmental
proceedings against a station house officer (SHO) and six other police officials
for abetting the alleged criminals.
The racket was detected by the Lahore
Organized Crime Unit, former Crime Investigation Agency (CIA), when it arrested
an alleged drug dealer of the city, Tahir, who during investigation revealed
that police officials had been receiving huge gratifications from him for
facilitation in drug trafficking. An official said these facts came to the
limelight after the OCU (former CIA Lahore) police arrested Tahir in a raid on
his house and the drug dealer offered an official 6 million to �settle‟ the
Tahis revealed during interrogation about the hefty sums he had been
paying to the ex-SHO and other police officials. The OCU high-ups later brought
the matter to the notice of the Lahore capital city police officer (CCPO) who
ordered a high-level inquiry into the matter with directions to expand the scope
of investigations to round up all the culprits, including the police officials.
All these officers were put to severe punishments.15
Punjab Police vigilance bureau (VB) named IPS officer and Ferozepur former
inspector general of police (DIG) Inderbir Singh as accused of taking ₹10 lakh
bribe from a drug supplier for not naming him in a case registered under the
NDPS Act by the Bhikhiwind police in Tarn Taran.On June 30 last year, an FIR was
registered in Bhikhiwind police station in Tarn Taran against Surjit Singh, from
whom 900-gm opium was recovered. Another person Pishora Singh was also nominated
in the case. Besides them, Nishan Singh, Hira Singh, DSP Lakhbir Singh and head
constable Rashpal Singh were also nominated.
On July 6, 2022, DSP Lakhbir Singh,
who was then posted at Faridkot, was arrested by the police in the case. The
special investigation team (SIT) formed by Tarn Taran SSP had also found the
involvement of a senior police officer but did not name him.Later, the case was
handed over to the VB and Inderbir was grilled by senior officers of the bureau
after his involvement was suspected. In the general diary details dated June 5
of Bhikhiwind police station, he was named as accused in the case, following the
investigation report forwarded by the Amritsar range vigilance SSP. He was
punished under various acts including the Corruption act. 16
Only some policers who have been abetting to drug dealers have been captured and
punished, others still roam freely and help these dealers. Even though
government knows that there might be some abettors in the department they cannot
always use open methods to control these abettors as it will only result in
awareness to these officers that they are being watched and carry out their
functions more carefully, thus cannot be captured.
- The government should choose the members of this particular department based on their past performance and should focus on selecting the honest members in the department.
- When an operation is conducted, it is best to keep the information gathered and plans of the operation only between the higher officials, and they can let the juniors act through instructions instead of revealing the whole plan to everyone.
- Information is power. Information relating to drug dealers needs to be kept very confidential until the last second of completion of the operation without any leakage.
- Severe punishments are to be provided to those who abet the drug dealers as they are more vicious than the drug dealers. By helping them, they make the drug dealers impossible to be brought before the clutches of the law.
- Awards and increments for honest officers motivate others to act more honestly.
- It is better to start campaigns among the police about the ill effects of drugs and providing them punishments if they try to abet.
Seven police personnel were sacked as part of the state police crackdown on drug
peddling and its abuse, Nagaland director general of police (DGP) Rupin Sharma
said on Wednesday, asserting that the police did not only act against civilians
during the ongoing campaign but also
those in the uniform. Sharma said the state police adopted the "reform or
perish" approach and had been trying to persuade police personnel who have a
problem with drugs or alcohol to come forward and avail treatment. Those who did
not and were caught for violating the law are being penalized. Of the 43 police
personnel who faced action, seven have been dismissed, two personnel have been
demoted and compulsorily retired and 14 more issued penalties such as stopping
of increment. In 20 other cases, the disciplinary proceedings are yet to be
Such actions by the department will definitely create a fear among others and
make them to be honest and not to abet drug dealers. 17
Though NCB and other departments, the central and state government all tries to
help to control illicit drug trade, it is impossible to control until the
enforcing agent the police
themselves are abetting drug dealers. The strategies and operations carried out
by Indian government have been proved effective in many cases, they only fail in
circumstance unexpected and in times of these kinds of abetments. So, if the
government is successful in controlling the police officers and make them follow
the laws properly India can soon become a drug free nation.
- drug law enforcement field officer's handbook, Narcotics Control Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India
- Section 18-Punishment for contravention in relation to opium poppy and opium. Whoever, in contravention of any provision of this Act or any rule or order made or condition of license granted thereunder, cultivates the opium poppy or produces, manufactures, possesses, sells, purchases, transports, imports inter-State, exports inter-State or uses opium shall be punishable,
- where the contravention involves small quantity, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees, or with both;
- where the contravention involves commercial quantity, 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 which shall not be less than one lakh rupees which may extend to two lakh rupees: Provided that the court may, for reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a fine exceeding two lakh rupees;
- in any other case, with rigorous imprisonment which may extend to ten years and with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees+.
- Section 20-Punishment for contravention in relation to cannabis plant and cannabis. Whoever, in contravention of any provisions of this Act or any rule or order made or condition of license granted thereunder,
- cultivates any cannabis plant;
- produces, manufactures, possesses, sells, purchases, transports, imports inter-State, exports inter-State or uses cannabis, shall be punishable 1*(i) where such contravention relates to clause (a) with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupees; and
- (ii) where such contravention relates to sub-clause (b),
- and involves small quantity, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, which may extend to ten thousand rupees, or with both;
- and involves quantity lesser than commercial quantity but greater than small quantity, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years and with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees;
- and involves commercial quantity, 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 which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees: Provided that the court may, for reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a fine exceeding two lakh rupees+.
- Department of Revenue | Ministry of Finance https://dor.gov.in � default � files National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Page 6 of 47
- Section 60-Liability of illicit drugs, substances, plants, articles and conveyances to confiscation.1*
- Section 62-Confiscation of sale proceeds of illicit drugs or substances. Where any 1*narcotic drug, psychotropic substance or controlled substance+ is sold by a person having knowledge or reason to believe that the drug or substance is liable to confiscation under this Act the sale proceeds thereof shall also be liable to confiscation.
- drug law enforcement field officer's handbook, Narcotics Control Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India
- Section 56-Obligation of officers to assist each other. All officers of the several departments mentioned in section 42 shall, upon notice given or request made, be legally bound to assist each other in carrying out the provisions of this Act.
- Power to call for information, etc. Any officer referred to in section 42 who is authorized in this behalf by the Central Government or a State Government may, during the course of any enquiry in connection with the
- 14. The print online newspaper, Controversial Punjab Police Officer Rajjit Singh dismissed for 'role in drugs trade'. What is he accused of, Chitleen K Sethi, 17 April, 2023
- Dawn today's paper, Cross-border drone drug smuggling: SHO, six other cops received hefty sums from traffickers, finds probe, Asif Chaudhry, 25 September, 2023
- The Hindustan Times, Ferozepur former DIG named accused in ₹10 lakh bribe case, Parteek Singh Mahal, 29 June, 2023
- The Hindustan Times, 7 Nagaland cops dismissed in state police crackdown against drug traffickers, Alice Yhoshu,
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.R.Jeevika, Tamil Nadu Dr.Ambedkar Law University
Authentication No: OT365931381990-20-1023