The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India,
The Supreme Court of India,
Bhagwan Das Road
New Delhi 110001
Subject: DRUG CRISIS IN INDIA, NEED FOR JUDICIAL SCRUTINY
1- I, Shashi Kant, I.P.S. (retd.), a former police officer of the rank of the Director General of Police in Punjab, have been working as a human rights and an anti drug activist for several years now. On account of this reason, I was ordered by the H’onble High Court of Punjab and Haryana to assist the Hon’ble Court in an ongoing petition CWP-2011 (O&M), Tarlochan Singh vs. State of Punjab and others. This petition was about the smuggling and availability of drugs in prison houses of Punjab. Accordingly I had appeared before the Hon’ble court on August 13, 2013 and submitted my suggestions in form of a note, for favour of consideration. Several suggestions were graciously accepted by the Hon’ble DB No. 1.
2- To keep the perspective right, I may kindly be permitted to give my short background. I, Shashi Kant, a 1977 batch (RR), officer was borne on the strength of the Punjab cadre. I have intense and in depth knowledge on a wide variety of subjects on account of my having worked in the state of Punjab, in various capacities and in various wings including field as also head quarter postings, including that of Deputy Inspector General and Inspector General of Police; Additional Director General of Police; intelligence, security, internal vigilance and operations; and then as Director General of Police; home guards, armed battalions and of prisons. I had also served in the Government of India for a long time and served in intelligence agencies, Ministry of Home Affairs as also Ministry of External Affairs. I worked on a number of sensitive postings / assignments and carried out overt and covert operations as well, some of which were directly reported to the Prime Ministers. I am a decorated officer who has been considered as a core intelligence officer, besides being also known as an ‘activist’ officer. I retired towards the end of June 1012. Since then I have been actively involved in ‘social and civil movements’ including that of Anna Hazare.
3- It was during my posting as the Director General of Police (prisons) that I once again, (the first being in 2007 when I was posted as the head of the intelligence wing of the Punjab police and had got compiled a detailed list of drug barons / lords of Punjab, their associates and accomplices, which included several top politicians across the spectrum, police, security and other officials and ‘gentlemen’ civilians. This list was personally handed over by me to the Chief Minister, but no action was taken by him and the list did not see the light of the day there after. Punjab government has been issuing different and divergent statements on this count. In the open DB No. 1 of the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court it was stated by them, sometimes in 2013 /2014 that,’ the list is not traceable’, then ‘list is not on record’ and then and shockingly, ‘the list has been tampered one’. Several renowned lawyers are witness to it.), saw and studied the problem of drugs in Punjab, both in the open civil society and in the prison houses. I was shocked and moved by the magnitude there of and I decided to dedicate the remainder of my life to fight against the scourge of drugs and narcotics in the country, all facets thereof included, including the smuggling there of and de-addiction.
4- Having seen and intensely studied the problem of drugs from very close quarters I had moved a Letter Petition to the then Hon’ble Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court with the request that the same be kindly be accepted as a PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION. The same was graciously accepted by the Hon’ble DB No 1 and listed as CWP No. 20359 0f 2013 (O&M), Court on its own Motion Vs. State of Punjab and others.
5- Through this petition, I had drawn the attention the Hon’ble court towards the fact that on account of the unholy nexus between some politicians, some officials of the security forces including police and some other segments of the society / officialdom etc, almost an entire generation was lost on account of drugs in Punjab. (A copy of my letter petition is enclosed for favour of ready reference.)
6- Subsequent to the posting out of the then Chief Justice, the CWP was pursued by several other benches and now it is before the DB headed by Hon’ble Justice Mr. Surya Kant. The bench was kind enough to implead, at my request, the state of Haryana and U.T. Chandigarh as well because both of them are also facing a serious drug crisis in which generations, particularly the younger generation is getting ruined. It is the question of their life and death. The case is being taken up in all its dimensions.
1- Drugs are the biggest and one of the most serious of the challenges before the country and needs to be crushed ruthlessly. Whereas the drug policy of the Government of India is full of loop holes, hardly any of the constituent states have any serious policy to combat it. Wherever such a policy exists, it is just on paper and is not being implemented in the right earnest. Despite the concern expressed by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, in his Man Ki Baat, no action has been taken by any of the Governments. It may also be stated here that at several places including Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and Upper Parbati region of Himachal the drug trade is being run by foreigners.
2- Common intoxicating / euphoric drugs which need to be controlled / curbed include;
i- Opiates (opium products / derivatives)
iii- Psychotropic pharmaceuticals
iv- Synthetic and designer drugs etc
v- Curbs also need to be strengthened on Hashish/ Marijuana/ Bhang and other similar ‘herbs’ besides
vi- ‘Inhalants’ like thinner etc which are often being used by kids from slum areas as the first step ‘drugs’ before they become full-fledged addicts.
3- Origin of drugs;
i- Of these, Opiates (Heroin / Smack) are primarily coming in from the ‘Golden Crescent’ consisting of Afghanistan and some areas of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. They mostly are being brought in through the Punjab border followed by areas falling in states of Rajasthan; though route from across J&K, Himachal, Gujarat and Mumbai besides the Nepal border are also used, though to a lesser extent. Opiates, that are Heroin / Smack coming in, are for consumption within our country as also for further export to the United States and Europe besides Australia and other countries.
ii- The other major originating place for this category of contraband, that is Heroin, is The ‘Golden Triangle’ located in the area consisting of Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia etc. Heroin is smuggled in, primarily through the North Eastern states and West Bengal. Drugs coming in through these routes are majorly for consumption in various states, primarily those in the North East, West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha etc.
iii- Cocaine is being brought in the country by ‘couriers’ landing at various airports. Most important of such ‘import centers’ include Mumbai and Goa.
iv- Psychotropic pharmaceuticals, Synthetic / Designer Drugs are being produced all over. Ingredients like Ephedrine and Pseudo Ephedrine are procured from various ‘pharmaceutical parks’ and other hubs manufacturing drugs despite the fact that they are ‘controlled substances. Some of the latest of such designer drugs are also ‘imported’ directly on one pretext or the other and sold off on either false prescription in the black market.
4- All of them are almost freely available across the country, particularly all metropolitan towns.
5- Unfortunately no statistics is available to indicate the quantum of drugs trade / drug addiction / deaths / incapacitation on their account. Rough estimates about the quantum of drug trade are available only for the state Punjab. It is said to be to the magnitude of sixty to hundred thousand crores of rupees per year. This money is traded through hawala and illegal banking practices and is utilized for various purposes, mostly politics. There will be hardly any politician in the country who ever mortgaged / sold his house or property for electoral or political purposed. Wrong details are given to and accepted by the Election Commission of India and by the Income Tax Departments.
6- Possible suggestions to combat the menace may include following;
i- Cutting the chain of supply and arrest of the drug barons after identification thereof by the police with the help of the central agencies including the CBI.
ii- De addiction of addicts by the health department
iii- Their 'settlement' (job wise) by various ministries
iv- Amending the legal provisions for removal of stigma attached with the word addiction. Addiction is just a disease and can be cured. Its declaration as ‘disease’ will bring in the Indian Medical Council and the medical fraternity in a big way. A lot many national and international agencies which provide donations for medical causes may also be able to help the addicts.
v- Counseling of the family members as also of the addict by health dept
vi- Creating awareness in the society on the issue of drugs by all ministries
vii- Induction of a syllabus on drugs by the education departments. The syllabus for various age groups needs to be prepared by the education department with the help of psychologists, sociologists and psychiatrists
viii- Similar education program for the parents to recognize the signs of drug addiction among kids, even from the primary stage and education as to how to 'handle' the kids
ix- Adequate sports activities among youth
x- Carrier counseling for children and youth of various age groups
xi- Trying to improve employment opportunities to the extent possible
1- Through this letter petition, I beg to draw the attention of this Hon’ble Highest Court of the land towards the pathetic state of affairs in the entire country on account of open and easy availability of drugs because of which generations are either being lost or are getting incapacitated in more than one ways.
2- The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, himself is aware of the hopeless situation across the country where drugs business continues to thrive on account of the involvement / unholy nexus between some politicians, some officials of the security forces including police and some other segments of the society / officialdom.
3- The Hon’ble Chief Justice is himself known as a crusader against drugs and has been expressing himself strongly on the issue.
4- The petitioner is enclosing herewith information which is available on the net and indicates that the entire country is flooded and affected by drugs. Some of the Hon’ble High Courts including Punjab & Haryana High Court and the Himachal Pradesh High Courts have taken suo moto notice of the drug situation in their respective areas. It is humbly requested that the Drug situation needs to be centrally monitored by this Highest Court of the land and suitable / uniform instructions need to be issued to all Hon’ble High Courts in the country as also to the Union and all State Governments to take action as per a uniform ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ to crush the unholy politician – police – officialdom - smuggler nexus operation in the country.
5- The petitioner, though not a lawyer, has immense knowledge on the subject and is prepared to assist the Hon’ble Court as desired to bring an end to the prevailing and continuing NARCO POLITICS AND NARCO TERRORISM.
6- It is humbly submitted that the performance of each of the states needs to be closely monitored by a standing committee to be appointed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court under the chairmanship of a retired judge of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. It may have such number of members as deemed fit by the Hon’ble Court. This body should ideally send regular reports to the Hon’ble Supreme Court and be open to its regular scrutiny.
7- Lastly it is prayed again that this submission be treated as a PIL, in national interest and be dealt with accordingly.
Chandigarh, June 30, 2016
#1258, sector 18-C
A detailed state wise note on the Drug Situation in each of the states and Union Territories of India