As many as 153 addicts were lodged in a private drug de-addiction centre at Kurali in SAS Nagar despite it had permission for keeping 15 inmates only.
Detoxification of addicts was also being done in violation of norms, even as it has permission for rehabilitation only.
It was found during a checking of the rehabilitation centre on Saturday on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court. A team of doctors and police found gross violations of rules.
The SAS Nagar police have booked the Reality Foundation Lakhnour, located on the Kurali-Kharar road, that runs the centre. The centre provided a list of 83 patients lodged there. “The inmates were lodged in the basement. Most of the patients were kept without their consent which is required as per the rules,” said an official.
“The centre has been running for seven years. Statements of about 120 addicts have been recorded,” said SAS Nagar senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar.
Bhullar said, “We will be probing the role of the civil surgeon which issued licence to the centre. If violations are found in issuing of the licence, action will be taken.”
Kurali station house officer (SHO) Amarvir Singh said, “An FIR has been lodged on the complaint of Dr Aditya Avinash Kaushik, a Haryana doctor, who has been directed by the Punjab and Haryana high court to conduct checks in Punjab. A case has been registered against Reality Foundation, Lakhnour, under sections 341, 342, 465 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).”
WHAT LED TO THE CHECKING OF KURALI REHAB CENTRE?
During the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Jagdish Bhola drug racket case, the Punjab government had assured the Punjab and Haryana high court that it will revisit the rules and regulations on rehabilitation centres and conduct inspections of all private-run de-addiction centres across the state.
This submission was made after Dr Kaushik, amicus curaie, a Haryana doctor who is assisting the court in this matter, had pointed out poor state of addicts during his visit to a private de-addiction centre in Rara Sahib, Ludhiana, and had found patients living in unhygienic conditions.
The high court in September had directed Kaushik to prepare a report on the functioning at de-addiction centres in Punjab and Haryana. As per the information provided to the high court , there are 132 such centes in Punjab, 60 of which are run by the government.