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What is the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) Act of 1985?

The NDPS Act of 1985 prohibits a person the production/manufacturing/cultivation, possession, sale, purchasing, transport, storage, and/or consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
Oct 16, 2020 16:49 IST
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NDPS Act
NDPS Act

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, or the NDPS Act prohibits a person the production/manufacturing/cultivation, possession, sale, purchasing, transport, storage, and/or consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.

Chapters

Chapter I: Preliminary

Chapter II: Authorities and Officers

Chapter II A: National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse

Chapter III: Prohibition, Control and Regulation

Chapter IV: Offences and Penalties

Chapter V: Procedure

Chapter V A:  Forfeiture of Illegally Acquired Property

Chapter VI: Miscellaneous

Chapter I: Preliminary

1. Short title, extent and commencement: 

The Act will be called Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and extends to the whole of India and applies to all the Indian citizens wherever they may be. The Act will come into force when the Centre will notify the Act in the Official Gazette by notification. 

2. Definitions: 

a. Addict- Any person who is dependent on any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance. 

b. Board- The Central Board of Excise and Customs constituted under the Central
Boards of Revenue Act, 1963. 

c. Cannabis (Charas, Ganja, Any mixture)- Charas (separated resin of Cannabis) in any form, crude or purified, obtained from the cannabis plant and includes hashish oil. Ganja (flowering part of the Cannabis, excluding seeds and leaves) in any form and whether the name they may be designated. Any Mixture, with or without material, of any of the above forms of Cannabis and drink prepared.  

d. Cocoa derivate (crude cocaine, ecgonine, cocaine and preparations)- Crude cocaine, any extract of coca leaf which can be used, directly or indirectly, for the manufacture of cocaine. Ecgonine and its derivatives from which cocoa can be recovered. Cocaine, the methyl ester of benzoyl-ecgonine and its salts. Preparations of more than 0.1% of cocaine. 

e. Cocoa leaf- The leaf of the coca plant except for a leaf from which all ecgonine, cocaine and any other
ecgonine alkaloids have been removed and any mixture (not more than 0.1% of cocaine) thereof with or without any neutral material. 

f. Conveyance- Any conveyance including aircraft, vehicle or vessel. 

g. International Convention- Adopted by the UN in March 1961. 

h. Manufacture-  All the processes other than production by which such drugs or substances may be obtained, refined, transformed and making of preparation other than in a pharmacy on prescription. 

i. Manufactured drug- All coca derivatives, medicinal cannabis, opium derivatives and poppy straw concentrate. 

j. Medicinal cannabis- Any extract or tincture of cannabis. 

k. Narcotics Commissioner- Commissioner appointed under section 5. 

l. Narcotic Drug- coca leaf, cannabis (hemp), opium, poppy straw and includes all manufactured drugs. 

m. Opium- The coagulated juice of the opium poppy and any mixture, with or without any neutral material. It must not include any preparation containing more than 0.2 per cent. of morphine. 

n. Opium derivative- Medicinal opium, Prepared opium, Phenanthrene alkaloids, Diacetylmorphine and all preparations not more than 0.2% of morphine or any diacetylmorphine.  

Background

Smoking Cannabis in India is known since 2000 BC and is mentioned in Atharvaveda. Till 1985, all forms of Cannabis (marijuana, hashish and bhang) were legally sold in India. In the year 1961, the United States began campaigning worldwide against the usage of all drugs, following the adoption of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The move was however opposed by India for around 25 years and with the increased pressure in the 1980s from America, the Rajiv Gandhi government enacted the NDPS Act.

On 23 August 1985, this bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Bill was passed by both the Houses of the Parliament. On 16 September 1985, the then President Giani Zail Singh gave his assent to the Bill and the Bill became an Act. On 14 November 1985, the act came into effect. Since then the Act has been amended thrice (1998, 2001 and 2014). 

The Act not only applies to all the Indian citizens but are also applicable to all the Indian citizens living outside India. It is also applicable to all the people who are on ships and aircraft and are registered in India. 

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