Drug Addiction Looming Large Over J&K: HC 

Srinagar—Observing that the menace of drug addiction was looming large in Jammu and Kashmir, the J&K High Court on Friday directed Joint Secretary, (J&K Affairs), Ministry of Home Affairs New Delhi, to inform it by May 21 about the steps taken to curb the menace of Drug Addiction and providing of Drug De-addiction Centers in the State.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice M. K. Hanjura added the Joint Secretary as party respondent in the case. 

“We expect the newly added respondent, Joint Secretary, (J&K Affairs), Government of lndia, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, to respond to the proposal of the State Government keeping in mind the situation prevailing in the State of J&K for establishing drug de-addiction centers in various Districts of the state as indicated in the letter dated 16.02.2018 of the Special Director General of Police, J&K,” the court said. 

On 17 August last year, the court had directed the Government to delineate on various methods to curb the menace of drug addiction which has been looming large in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Accordingly, it directed the Government to ensure the establishment of drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centers.  

“As to the effectiveness of de-addiction centers is concerned it requires regular monitoring and hence the Chief Secretary of the State is directed to hold regular meetings with the concerned department and NGOs so that the issue relating drug de-addiction and the impact on the citizens of Jammu &Kashmir State is addressed. The Government shall deliberate on the methods adopted by other States for establishment of de-addiction and rehabilitation centers. The expertise from other sources will have some relevance as the issue is of concern all over the Country and the World,” the court had said, adding, “It is desirable and advantageous if the Government of Jammu & Kashmir will revisit the Drug De-addiction Policy in the State and provide a more comprehensive mechanism to address this malady.”

In continuation to that, the Special Director General of Police, J&K, addressed a letter to the Joint Secretary which reads: “The Jammu and Kashmir Police under Civic Action Programme is receiving funds to the tune of Rs.500.00 lakhs annually. The funds received are being utilized for Honorarium for two Drug de-addiction Centre’s at Jammu and Srinagar, Sports activities (to involve / engage youth of the State), assistance to school going poor children, Police public meets etc.

It is proposed to establish 23 new drug De-addiction Centres among all the remaining Districts of the State for which an amount of Rs.656.19 lakh (Rs Rs.28.53 lakh for each DDC) will be involved.

Therefore, it is requested to release an amount of Rs.656.19 lakh under CAP for the year 2018-19.

This issues with the approval of the DG Police, J&K.” 

“Considering the gravity of the Drug Addiction which the State of Jammu and Kashmir is facing as reported by learned Sr. Additional Advocate General supported by the letter dated 16.02.2018 of the Special Director General of Police, J&K, we are inclined to add Joint Secretary, (J&K Affairs), Government of lndia, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, as party respondent and to be represented by Tahir Majid Shamsi, ASGI,” the court said, adding, “He shall get instructions from the Department concerned as to what steps have been taken by them to curb the menace of Drug Addiction and providing of Drug De-addiction Centers in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.” The case has been posted on 21st May, 2018. 

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