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The Narcotics Drugs And Psychotropic Drugs Act, 1985

The act did not directly came into the existence. In the year 1857 opium act came into existence. The main purpose of the act was to control and regulate the consumption and use of opium in society. To regulate the cultivation, harvesting of the opium. But, the act did not satisfy all the narcotic drug being used and in the year 1930 Dangerous Drug Act was introduced. Both the acts had many drawbacks which were further noticed and later after modification narcotics drugs and psychotic substance act was enacted in the year 1985.

The main role of this act was to prohibit control and regulate the operation relating to narcotics substances. It also provides licensing system for both Central and State Government to regulate manufacture cultivation, import, inter state traffic, transportation , sale and possession of narcotic substance. The act is divided into 5 parts. Central Government has power to amend the list of psychotropic substance.

Narcotic substances

  1. Coca plant: It comes from the species of Erythroxylon and it does not contain more than 0.1% of cocaine.
  2. Cannabies: Cannabies includes Bhang, Charas, Ganja. The leaves of Bhang are from the plant known as Cannabis Sativa. Charas is separated resin and resin known as Hashish oil or liquid Hashish. Ganja is flowering or fruiting top of the cannal plant which exclude seed or leaves.
  3. Opium: it is coagulated juice of the opium loppy but does not include any preparation containg not more than 0.2% of morphine.

List of narcotic substances:

  1. Heroin
  2. Codeine
  3. Oxycodone
  4. Hydrocodone
  5. Tramadol
  6. Morphine
  7. Hydromorphone
  8. Carfentanil

Psychotropic substances

It means any substance natural or synthetic or any sale or preparation of such substance or material which is included in the list of psychotropic substance specified in schedule:
Lysergic acid derivates (LSD) Benzodiazepam diazepam
alprazolam estrazolam ketamine
Amphetamine Mescaline psilocybine
Amobarbital Midazolam Pentazochine
Gulatathimide Mazindol Pentobarbital

Authorities and officers

  1. Measures by Central Government takes measures to prevent and combat the abuse of illicit traffic in narcotic drug.
  2. Narcotics commissioner is appointed by Central Government and the role of commissioner is to supervise the cultivation of opium poppy, to see the production of opium.
  3. NDPS constitutes committee which consists of chairman and not more than 20 members. The main function of this committee is to advice Central Government on matters relating to administration of this act.
  4. The Central Government constitutes fund known as national fund for control of drug and abuse. The main role of this is to control the abuses of narcotic drug, to combat illicit trafficking in narcotic, to identify to addicts, to give them proper rehabiltation, to prevent drug abuse and to educate public against drug abuse.

Prohibition control and regulation

  1. Prohibition to cultivate any coca plant or gather any portion of cocoa plant, or cultivate the opium poppy or any cannabies plant without license. Prohibition to produce, manufacture, posses, sell, purchase, transport, consume, import inter state, export inter state , import into India or transship any narcotic drug.
  2. Prohibition converting or transferring any property knowing that such property are/is derived from offense. To conceal or disguise the true nature, source , location from any offense.

Offences and penalties[1]

Offences Penalty Opium - 18(c) Cannabis - 20 Coca-16
Cultivation of opium, cannabis or coca plants without license
Embezzlement of opium by licensed farmer
Rigorous imprisonment-up to 10 years + fine up to Rs.1 lakh 19
Production, manufacture, possession, sale, purchase, transport, import inter- state, export inter-state or use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances Rigorous imprisonment -10 to 20 years + fine Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs (regardless of the quantity) Prepared opium-17 Opium � 18 Cannabis - 20
Import, export or transhipment of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances Small quantity - Rigorous imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs. 10,000 or both. More than small quantity but less than commercial quantity - Rigorous imprisonment. up to 10 years + fine up to Rs. 1 Lakhs. Commercial quantity - Rigorous imprisonment 10 to 20 years + fine Rs. 1 to 2 Lakhs Manufactured drugs or their preparations-21 Psychotropic substances -22
External dealings in NDPS-i.e. engaging in or controlling trade whereby drugs are obtained from outside India and supplied to a person outside India Same as above 23
Knowingly allowing one's premises to be used for committing an offence Rigorous imprisonment 10 to 20 years + fine of Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs (Regardless of the quantity) 24
Violations pertaining to controlled substances (precursors)
Financing traffic and harboring offenders
Same as for the offence 25
Attempts, abetment and criminal conspiracy
Preparation to commit an offence
Rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years + fine Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs 25A
Repeat offence Rigorous imprisonment 10 to 20 years + fine Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs 27A
Consumption of drugs Same as for the offence Attempts-28 Abetment and criminal conspiracy - 29
Half the punishment for the offence 30
One and half times the punishment for the offence. Death penalty in some cases. 31 Death - 31A
Cocaine, morphine, heroin - Rigorous imprisonment up to 1 year or fine up to Rs. 20,000 or both. Other drugs- Imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs. 10,000 or both. Addicts volunteering for treatment enjoy immunity from prosecution. 27 Immunity - 64A
Punishment for violations not elsewhere specified Imprisonment up to six months or fine or both 32

Small and commercial quantities[2]

For several offences under the NDPS Act, the punishment depends on whether the quantity of drug involved is small, is more than small but less than commercial or is commercial. Small and Commercial quantities for each drug have been notified.

Drug Small Quantity Commercial Quantity
Amphetamine 2 grams 50 grams
Buprenorphine 1gram 20 grams
Charas/Hashish Charas/Hashish 1 kg
Cocaine 2 grams 100 grams
Codeine 10 grams 1 kg
Diazepam 20 grams 500 grams
Ganja 1 kg 20 kg
Heroin 5 grams 250 grams
MDMA 0.5 gram 10 grams
Methamphetamine 2 grams 50 grams
Methaqualone 20 grams 500 grams
Morphine 5 grams 250 grams
Poppy straw 1 kg 50 kg


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