Chandigarh, July 4 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday urged the Centre to amend laws to provide for death penalty even for first-time drug smugglers and peddlers.
In his letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the Chief Minister pointed out that the existing NDPS Act, 1985, provides for death penalty for certain offences, if these are committed for the 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 society,” Amarinder Singh pointed out, adding that a harsher penalty for even first-time offenders in drug peddling could be a deterrent to those indulging in this illegal activity.”
The Chief Minister said that urgent steps be taken to initiate the process to amend the Narcotics, Drugs and Psycotropic Substances Act to provide for more deterrent punishment to such offenders.
“Given the magnitude of the drug menace, which had been denied during the last many years, enforcement steps 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,” Amarinder Singh said.
The action plan executed by the Congress government in over a year has resulted in the arrest of 18,977 drug peddlers and treatment of more than two lakh addicts in the state, he said.
The Punjab Cabinet on Monday decided to recommend death penalty for drug peddlers and smugglers to the central government to curb the menace in the border state.