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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

HC tells Punjab govt to regulate all drug de-addiction centres within 3 months

The order was passed by the high court bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and HS Sidhu during the resumed hearing of a suo motu petition in which a slew of directions were given to the state government in January this year to deal with menace of drugs.

punjab Updated: Sep 04, 2019 12:45 IST
Surender Sharma
Surender Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab government has three months to frame rules and bring all de-addiction centres across the state within the ambit of the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010, and the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
Punjab government has three months to frame rules and bring all de-addiction centres across the state within the ambit of the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010, and the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.(HT photo)
         

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday gave the Punjab government three months to frame rules and bring all the de-addiction centres across the state within the ambit of the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010, and the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.

The two laws deal with medical standards and treatment protocol to be followed in the case of addicts lodged in these centres.

The order was passed by the high court bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and HS Sidhu during the resumed hearing of a suo motu petition in which a slew of directions were given to the state government in January this year to deal with menace of drugs. Punjab director general of police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta and anti-drug special task force (STF) head HS Sidhu were present during the hearing that lasted over three hours.

The bench took note of submissions by Dr Aditya Kaushik, deputy director, social justice department, Haryana, who is amicus curiae of court in drug-related cases, that de-addiction centres in Punjab are governed by the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, and to improve their regulation, service and prevalent practices to treat addicts under the medical protocol, it was imperative that both these laws be made applicable. The government will have to frame rules and get all the centres covered under these two laws and close down illegal ones within three months, as per the order.

‘32,000 MORE COPS NEEDED FOR VIGIL AROUND INSTITUTES’

On increasing vigil around educational institutions in the state, DGP Gupta told the court that it was not possible to post a cop each in plainclothes every educational institution from 8am to 6pm, the department would need 32,000 more personnel.

There are 16,065 such institutions, the court was told.

On various initiatives taken by the government, the DGP told the court that in January this year a campaign against drug abuse was launched by the state government to educate people at an estimated budget of Rs 2.37 crore. It was also informed that the “buddy programme” was launched in schools in 2018 to protect students from falling prey to drugs.

Nearly 38 lakh students have been covered in 7 lakh groups supervised by 1.3 lakh teachers till June 2019, it was claimed.

During the hearing, the court also directed the excise and taxation department to cancel licences of bars and liquor vends serving liquor to minors. The department was also asked to submit a report within 15 days to the STF on the number of licences cancelled under the drive.

First Published: Sep 04, 2019 00:58 IST