Habitual users of drugs and those caught with a small quantity of drugs can escape jail by opting for a detoxification or de-addiction program.
Section 64 A of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act gives the benefit of immunity from prosecution to addicts volunteering for treatment.
The recent case in point would be actor Fardeen Khan, who was charged for purchasing one gram of cocaine and faces a sentence of six months imprisonment. Khan has the option of taking a de-addiction program after the charges are framed against him.
Advocate Ayaz Khan said the option of de-addiction depends on the stage at which the case has reached and the nature of the charges.
Khan states that the case should reflect two things, one that you are an addict and other being the issue of quantity, which should be small.
Khan also states that the accused can go for a detoxification program even before charges are framed and apply for immunity. According to Khan, around 60 offenders in the Juhu case had opted for detoxification and got immunity from prosecution.
Advocate Rizwan Merchant, who represented around 70 people caught during the 2008 Juhu rave party bust, said most of them had opted for a detoxification program during the framing of charges.
The special narcotics court had granted six youngsters immunity from being tried in the Juhu rave party case since the government did not raise an objection to their applications. The students, aged 19 to 21, went through a de-addiction course at KEM Hospital before applying for immunity.
In the 2006 Gorai rave party bust, where the anti-narcotics cell raided a bungalow and arrested 99 people, 31 underwent a detoxification treatment and sought exemption from prosecution, according to the NDPS Act.