Mr. Navkiran Singh, Advocate and General-Secretary of self-funded NGO Lawyers for Human Rights International (LFHRI) has been spearheading a campaign against drugs abuse in the state of Punjab.
September 7, 2016
On September 7, 2016 in a Public Interest Litigation which is pending in Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh (CWP- 20359/2013), an order was passed by Division Bench consisting of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Sudip Ahluwalia:
Sh. Navkiran Singh, has pointed out that in the cases registered under the NDPS Act during last one year or so, though it is reported that synthetic drug/contrabands have been recovered, yet no efforts are made by the Investigating Teams to reach out the source of such drugs/contrabands.
He suggests and rightly so, that in every such case one of the point of investigation must be to identify the illicit drug manufacturer or the suppliers, be that such source is located outside the State of Punjab. We thus direct the Punjab Police that hitherto this will be one of the mandatory issue for the Investigating Team to make an effort to identify the ‘manufacturer’ or ‘supplier’ of the illicit drugs/contrabands.
The Senior Superintendents of Police/Commissioners of Police of all the districts shall prepare a list of the cases registered under the NDPS case after 01.01.2016 in tabulated form and ascertain whether or not the exercise to identify/detect the source of such illicit drug has been undertaken, and if not, let the Investigating officer(s) do the needful before the next date of hearing. A report in this regard with advance copy to learned Amicus Curiae as well as counsel opposite, be submitted.
Sh. Anupam Gupta learned senior counsel for ED has, at the outset, highlighted the scope of the exercise to be undertaken by the Supervisory Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by this Court vide order dated 07.10.20151. He emphasizes that the SIT is not expected to meet the accused inside jails, lest it leaves an impression of hobnobbing in the minds of general public. He points out that the SIT cannot and ought not to, on the plea of re-consideration of the material collected by Investigating Officers, submit any supplementary report especially based upon the version of the accused themselves, thereby exonerating them as it would amount to impinging upon the power and jurisdiction of the Special Courts under the NDPS Act.
The apprehension expressed by Sh. Gupta is well merited and it requires serious consideration at the hands of SIT. We will not say anything more at this stage except to record the statement of Ms. Reeta Kohli, learned Addl. AG Punjab that no such overreaching attempt shall be made by the SIT.
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July 13, 2016
In a Public Interest Litigation which is pending in Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh (CWP- 20359/2013), an order was passed by Division Bench consisting of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Darshan Singh:
“Mr. Navkiran Singh, has referred to a news-item in Print Media, according to which the State run De-addiction Centre at Nawanshahr, has been shut down due to non-availability of a Psychiatrist. A copy of the news-item has been handed over to Ms. Rita Kohli, Additional Advocate General, Punjab. It is directed as an interim measure, that in case the said De-addiction Centre has been closed for non-availability of Psychiatrist, let the State Government, Red Cross Society or any other State agency running that Centre, ensure the posting (may be on rotational basis) of a Psychiatrist within one week and file compliance affidavit regarding functional status of the said De-addicition Centre. If there is any deficiency in the cadre of Psychiatrists, the State Government or the concerned agencies may advertise the posts as per need base and finalize the selection process at the earliest.”
The current situation as highlighted by Mr. Navkiran Singh shows the non-seriousness of the present Government of state of Punjab in dealing with the cases of drugs abuse. On one hand, they are opening new de-addiction centres as it is mentioned in the news item in:
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, THEY HAVE CLOSED A DE-ADDICTION CENTRE AT NAWANSHAHR WHICH WAS BEING RUN BY THE GOVERNMENT THROUGH RED CROSS SOCIETY DUE TO SHORT-FALL OF PSYCHIATRISTS.
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For all old order and latest case status update, please check the High Court website here: http://phhc.gov.in/enq_caseno.php?var1=CWP&var2=20359&var3=2013