Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday made a strong recommendation to Union home minister Rajnath Singh for amending the existing laws to provide for death penalty for first-time drug smugglers and peddlers.
Taking forward his Cabinet’s decision on the issue, the chief minister has written a letter to the Union home minister seeking urgent steps to initiate the process of amending the NDPS Act to provide for more deterrent punishment to drug offenders. “Given the magnitude of the problem, which had been denied during the last many years, these enforcement measures though yielding results, need to be further strengthened. In this direction, it is felt that the existing drug prevention and control laws should be revisited to provide for more deterrent punishment to the offenders,” wrote the chief minister, citing the various measures already taken by his government to enforce the existing laws to prevent drug abuse as also to ensure rehabilitation and de-addiction of those who indulge in it.
In his letter, the chief minister has further pointed out that the existing Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, provides for death penalty for certain offences if these are committed for a second time. This means that a person can indulge in these nefarious activities and get away at least once, causing substantial damage to the youth and the society, he lamented.
His government, said Captain Amarinder Singh, felt that this should not be allowed to happen and even first-time offenders should be awarded death penalty for offences which are clearly elaborated in Section 31 A of the NDPS Act, 1985.
“We have come to this conclusion after a comprehensive discussion and feel that resultant deterrence of provisions of death penalty in the Act ibid, will help us in effectively containing if not eliminating the drug peddlers and mafia operating not only in Punjab, but also in other parts of the Country,” he has written in his letter.