Stressing the need to sensitise convicted drug peddlers, a city court on Friday suggested that jail authorities arrange for visuals showing the suffering of addicts, in the hope that the “visuals leave indelible impression on the mind”.
While sentencing a man, absconding for 15 years, to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years for possession of drugs, the court observed that it was in the “interest of the society that the government, including prison authorities, take steps for sensitisation of such traffickers”.
Additional Sessions Judge Narinder Kumar sentenced Bishan Singh, a drug peddler arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police on March 12, under Section 21 of the NDPS Act for possession of one kg of heroin. The case was made out against him on July 14, 1997, when he and his accomplices were apprehended with 2.5 kg of heroin in Rohini.
Eleven witnesses were examined in the case after which an Additional Sessions Judge held Singh guilty in May 17, 1999. However, while the matter for pronouncing the sentence was pending, Singh remained absconding for 15 years. Non-bailable warrants were issued against him and since he failed to appear in court, Singh was declared a “proclaimed offender”.
The prosecution, while submitting that the quantity of heroin recovered was commercial, requested the court for such a sentence so that others are deterred from indulging in similar activities.
In the judgment, the court noted that “although the convict has been sentenced, this court feels that drug traffickers also need to be sensitised about the ill effects of narcotic drugs in which they deal, so as to give a jolt to their conscience, by making them feel that so many persons do suffer at their hands on account of consumption of narcotic drugs which they supply”.
The court said, “Not only drug addicts, but family members also suffer pain and agony… while they undergo sentence in jail, they should be taken to hospitals or drug de-addiction centres, periodically, so that they may themselves witness/feel the pain and agony of victims of drug menace. Jail authorities may also arrange to display visuals depicting the conditions in which the drug addicts suffer, the reason being that visuals leave behind indelible impression on mind. In this way, when they are so sensitised, such convicts on stepping out of jail, may opt not to again indulge in contraband. For the present, there is no such provision under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.”
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh under provisions of the NDPS Act.
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