FORMED TO eradicate the scourge of drugs from Punjab, a Special Task Force (STF) headed by ADGP Harpreet Singh Sidhu, is finally set to get some more teeth but only after the four-week deadline announced by the government ended.
All members of the STF will have power to register and investigate cases across the state, cutting across jurisdiction issues. All STF members will enforce NDPS Act and related laws across Punjab, exercising same powers as wielded by police in districts under NDPS Act and related criminal and civil laws. A notification to give a jurisdiction-free, pan-Punjab playing field to the STF has been readied by the state home department. The notification is likely to be issued on Tuesday. Unlike normal policing where in practice jurisdiction is largely defined, STF members would have powers to act across the state.
An official said since the strength of the STF team was not much at this point of time, it was decided to issue notification, giving statewide powers to the members of STF, empowering the force to ensure enforcement of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The Punjab government on Friday had issued a notification to give formal shape to the terms of reference and broad functions of the STF. Weeding out the drug menace from the state in four weeks was a pre-poll promise made by the Congress.
“Steps to ensure enforcement of the Narcotoc Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, and all related criminal and civil laws in order to sever the drug supply lines by taking stringent action against suppliers, dealers and peddlers is a key agenda for the STF,” underlined the notification issued on Friday.
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