J&K, India: The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has dismissed the plea of an alleged drug trafficker detained under the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (PITNDPS) Act, 1988. The Court observed that the involvement of various terrorist groups and syndicates in drug trafficking leads to a threat to the national security and sovereignty of States by way of Narco-Terrorism.
The Court observed, “Drug trafficking and abuse has continued its significant toll on valuable human lives and productive years of many persons around the globe. With the growth and development of world economy, drug traffickers are also seamlessly trafficking various type of drugs from one corner to other ensuring availability of contrabands for vulnerable segment of society who fall into trap of drug peddlers and traffickers.”
Furthermore, the Court said on the serious drug menace affecting India, “Due to India’s close proximity with major opium growing areas of the region, India is facing serious menace of drug trafficking and as a spill-over effect, drug abuse especially among the youth is a matter of concern for us.” The Court noted that “India has been facing a problem of transit traffic in illicit drugs. The spill over from such traffic has caused tribulations of abuse and addiction. This trend has created an illicit demand for drugs within the country.”
The Court also observed that the illicit traffic of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances poses a serious threat to the health and welfare of the people. The Court also said that the “activities of persons engaged in such illicit traffic have a deleterious effect on the national economy as well.”
The Court held that it is necessary to provide for the detention of persons engaged in such illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for the effective prevention of such activities. “Having regard to the persons by whom and the manner in which such activities are organized and carried on, and having regard to the fact that in certain areas which are highly vulnerable to the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, such activities of a considerable magnitude are clandestinely organised and carried on, it is necessary for the effective prevention of such activities to provide for detention of persons concerned in any manner therewith,” the Court held.
The Court referred to the Supreme Court’s observations in Prakash Chandra Mohan v. Commissioner (1986) while dealing with the question of preventive detention. The Court refers to the judgement wherein the Supreme Court observed that “it must be remembered that observance of written law about the procedural safeguards for protection of individual is normally the high duty of public official but in all circumstances not the highest. The law of self- preservation and protection of the country and national security may claim in certain circumstances higher priority.” The Court concluded, “For the reasons discussed above, the instant writ petition is without any merit and is, accordingly, dismissed with connected CM(s).”