SC seeks exclusive storage facilities for seized narcotics, drugs

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) Pointing to the alarming proportion of drug menace in the country, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the central and state governments to create facilities for exclusive storage of seized narcotics and drugs to prevent their theft and pilferage with a designated officers for each facility.

“The central government and its agencies and so also the state governments shall within six months from today take appropriate steps to set up storage facilities for the exclusive storage of seized narcotic drugs and psychotropic and controlled substances and conveyances,” said a bench of Chief Justice T.S.Thakur and Justice Kurian Joseph in a judgment.

Justice Thakur, speaking for bench, said: “The menace of drugs in this country, has alarming dimensions and proportions… (Studies have shown) that the menace is deep-rooted not only because drug lords have the money power and transnational links but also because the enforcement agencies like the police and at times politicians in power help them in carrying on what is known to be a money-spinning and flourishing trade.”

The court said: “We only hope that the failure of the central government agencies and the state governments in providing what is the bare minimum in terms of infrastructure required to arrest the growing menace and prevent pilferage and re-circulation of drugs back into the market is not on account of any unholy connect between the drug traffickers and the enforcementA agencies.”

The court said this while agreeing with amicus curiae A.K.Sinha of the total contraband seized from 2002 to 2012, only 16 percent was destroyed. “What happened to the remaining 84 percent of such seizures is anybody’s guess and if it is still lying in the police ‘maalkhana’, why has nobody ever bothered to apply for their disposal according to the procedure established by law is hard to fathom.”

The court said that exclusive storage facilities for seized narcotics and drugs should be “duly equipped with vaults and double locking system to prevent theft, pilferage or replacement of the seized drugs” as it laid down elaborate procedure for the storage and destruction of the seized narcotics and to prevent their theft and pilferage.

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