In a landmark judgment, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has directed the state government to amend three principal Acts – Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act 1994, HP Municipal Act 1994 and HP Panchayati Raj Act 1994 — to debar relatives of those convicted under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 from contesting local bodies and panchayat elections.
The government has been given six months time to effect suitable amendments and enforce the new provisions.
The relatives to be brought under the ambit of the law, will include viz spouse of the person convicted , his brother or sister, brother or sister of the spouse ,any lineal ascendant or descendant of the person convicted, any lineal ascendant or descendant of the spouse , spouse of a person referred in all categories referred above, and any lineal descendant of a person or spouses as referred in any of the above categories, the court told the government.
The orders were passed by the division bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sureshwar while allowing an appeal filed by the state government against the order of special judge (Fast Track Court) Chamba in the case relating to drug peddling under the NDPC Act, 1985.
Coming down heavily on the growing drug menace among youths, the High Court also banned sale of codeine and morpheme, both addictive drugs, and other cough syrups without medical prescriptions to those below 18 years.
Beside this, the court passed mandatory orders to all educational institutions to curb drug menace.
In a 19-page order, the bench issued specific directions to all heads of the educational institutions, district Superintendents of Police and chief medical officers to curb drug abuse among the youths and those studying in schools and colleges from falling prey to drug peddlers in and around the vicinity of the educational institutions.
Passing another set of directions, the High Court ordered the Director General of Police (DGP) to pass specific directions to Investigating Officers to trace the sources of drug peddling within and outside the state .
“Such persons from whom these drugs are purchased in Himachal Pradesh by the couriers/carriers and the persons to whom these are to be delivered finally must be booked under the provisions of enabling laws,” said the order.
In order to facilitate timely and effective implementation of production warrants, the SP shall depute persons not below the rank of sub-inspector.
A government vehicle shall also be provided to him and the team going outside the state for effecting production warrants should be armed, it observed.
“Principal Secretary (Home) is also directed to constitute a special task force in the worst affected districts consisting of IPS officer, Dy SP, Inspectors/Sub Inspectors and head constables in order to nab the person(s) indulging in illegal transportation of NDPS /drugs “ the order said.