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All over India, 70% cases registered by NCB pertained to consumption related offences.New Delhi: Traffickers will start peddling drugs in smaller quantities if personal consumption of narcotics in small amounts is decriminalised, the Supreme Court said on Monday.A bench headed by Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat refused to entertain a PIL seeking striking off certain penal provisions of the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act which penalise drug addicts for using banned substances for personal consumption.”The personal consumption is a criminal offence under the law. It is important to take steps to minimise the stigma and provide health care benefits and facilities of de-addiction to the people affected by substance abuse, rather than subjecting them to punishment under the criminal justice system,” said PIL petitioner Jai Krishna Singh.”In Maharashtra, 90 per cent cases have been registered against the addicts or users by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the purpose of enacting the NDPS Act has been defeated,” he said, adding that addicts have become “soft targets”.All over India, 70 per cent cases registered by NCB pertained to consumption related offences, he added while seeking repeal of certain provisions of the Act.The bench said the courts always consider the aspect of personal consumption while deciding cases and award lesser punishment to people convicted of drug abuse.”You want even that particular part (which provides lighter punishment to addicts/users) to be struck off of the statute. But, what will happen is that the drug peddlers will start peddling drugs in that (small) quantity. How will you deal with that situation? Drug peddlers will start peddling the drugs in that quantity alone,” the bench said.”These all are policy issues, which the legislatures think,” the bench said, expressing disinclination about admitting the PIL for hearing.Mr Singh then decided to withdraw the PIL.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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