What is Narcotics Control Bureau and it’s Role and Functions?

NCB Narcotics Control Bureau

Stuti Hasmukh Oswal


The word narcotics means drugs or substances which affect the human mood and behaviour and is not consumed for medical purposes. Such consumption of drugs and substances without medical prescription is illegal. Narcotics and Psychotropic substances are trafficked and illegally sold in the country on a large scale.

In order to curb this situation in the country Article 47 gives power to the state to prohibit intoxicating drugs and drinks which are harmful and causes adverse effects to people’s health.

The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act came into effect in the year 1985. This act governs all the matters in relation to illegal use and trafficking of narcotic and psychotropic substance.

This article deals with information about Functioning of Narcotics Control Bureau (hereinafter as NCB)

What is the Narcotics Control Bureau?

The Narcotics Control Bureau came into existence on 17th March, 1986.

Section 4(3) of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985 (hereinafter as NDPS Act, 1985) gives the Central Government power to establish an authority by passing an order in the official gazette. Mr. Rakesh Asthana is the present Director General who is an IPS officer as well.

The Narcotics Control Bureau has its headquarters located at Delhi. After the passing of an impugned order by the High Court of Kerala the Government made it clear that the Narcotics Control Bureau is not a statutory body and that it is a nodal agency.

It is a drug law enforcement and intelligence agency. The said authority is allied with the Ministry of Home Affair.

The Narcotics Control Bureau agency has a motto which is:

“Intelligence, Enforcement, Coordination”,

Mission stating:

“Prevent and combat abuse and illicit traffic of drugs.”

Vision which is:

“Endeavour for a drug free society.”

The Narcotics Control Bureau abides the enactments as well as the International Conventions such as South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) or the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988.

What is the purpose of the Agency?

The Narcotics Control Bureau is mainly formed to stop illegal manufacturing, selling and exporting of drugs and psychotropic substance. It gathers intelligence and information on illicit farming and illegal manufacturing, selling and transporting of drugs and chemicals that are banned or prohibited by the government.

The agency, upon finding such leads of unlawful activities being conducted by any person or in any area may seize, arrest or conduct a raid. Sometimes the accused is acquitted on technical grounds are not taken care of by the agency therefore, the agency has issued a Handbook known as “Drug Law Enforcement Field Officer’s Handbook” in order to avoid such acquittals.

What is the jurisdiction to try cases in relation with drugs and psychotropic substance?

As per the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985 the cases in relation to such drugs and substances shall be heard by:

  • Special Courts – If the term of punishment is more than 3 years.
  • Magistrate – If the term of punishment is 3 years or less.
  • Appeals may be tried by the High Court within the local limits of the lower Courts.

What are the duties of Narcotics Control Bureau?

  • Coordination of actions by various officers, State Governments and other authorities under the Customs Act, 1962, the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and any other law for the time being in force in connection with the enforcement of the NDPS Act.
  • Implementation of the obligations in respect of counter measures against illicit traffic under various international conventions.
  • Assistance to the concerned authorities in foreign countries and concerned international organizations with a view to facilitating coordination and universal action for prevention and suppression of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
  • Coordination of actions taken by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Ministry of Welfare and other concerned Ministries, Departments or Organizations in respect of matters relating to drug abuse.

What are the Roles and Functions of the Narcotics Control Bureau?

The main functions of the Narcotics Control Bureau are as follows:

  • Coordination among various Central and State Agencies engaged in drug law enforcement.
  • Assisting States in enhancing their drug law enforcement effort.
  • Collection and dissemination of intelligence.
  • Analysis of seizure data, study of trends and modus operandi.
  • Preparation of National Drug Enforcement Statistics.
  • Liaison with International agencies such as UNDCP, INCB, INTERPOL, Customs Cooperation Council, RILO etc.
  • National contact point for intelligence and investigations.

What are the various accomplishments of Narcotics Control Bureau?

  • Operation Trance – Dark net

One of the major accomplishments of the Narcotics Control Bureau was the country’s first darknet arrest of a major operator who transported hundreds of psychotropic drug parcels abroad in the month of February 2020.

Darknet is a hidden internet platform on which narcotics and psychotropic substances are sold, shipped, and transferred in abundance. It is difficult to get information and leads on these platforms as they are end-to-end encrypted, and the payments are made using bitcoins and crypto currencies.

An ‘Operation Trance’ that was launched in December, 2019 of which the Narcotics Control Bureau was a part. Mr. Dipu Singh was arrested with a total of 55,000 psychotropic tablets that include tramadol, zolpidem and alprazolam. The said operation took two months and was conducted with the help of international agencies.[1]

  • Rhea Chakraborty case – Drug abuse

The Narcotics Control Bureau came into limelight after the actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise. Various angles and aspects were in consideration regarding the cause of his death. The Narcotics Control Bureau joined in the probe after the Enforcement Directorate found a few WhatsApp chats of actress Rhea Chakraborty over some “hardcore drugs”.

The Narcotics Control Bureau then joined in with the CBI and the ED on 26th August 2020 and registered an FIR against the actress Rhea Chakraborty under section 22, 27 and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985.

After further investigations carried out by the Narcotics Control Bureau it registered a case against Mr. Showik Chakraborty who was the brother of the actress and Mr. Samuel Miranda who was the house manager of the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

In the year 2020, many Bollywood celebrities were issued notice from the Narcotics Control Bureau in relation with consumption of illegal drugs and substances. A few were even arrested after the Narcotics Control Burau found drugs in their houses and offices.

Celebrities like Karan Johar, Deepika Padukone, Sharadha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, etc. were interrogated by the Narcotics Control Bureau.

More than 30 people are arrested in the drug probe and many names have come up after investigation by the Narcotics Control Bureau.

Recently, the Narcotics Control Bureau in the Sushant Singh Rajput drug case arrested a drug peddler Hemal Shah in Goa who is aided to be involved in the case. Consecutively, the NCB has discovered that a drug lord name Flacko has been supplying drugs from Dubai to various high-profile clients from Bollywood.[2]

  • Marijuana in a car

The Narcotics Control Bureau in the month of June 2021 arrested a wanted drug deal and seized nearly 12kgs of marijuana in a car. The dealer was caught in Thane area.[3]

  • Weed Brownies – Mumbai

The Narcotics Control Bureau has recently raided a bakery in Malad, Mumbai wherein they arrested 3 people in possession of weed brownies. A new trend of edible weed also known as edible pot brownie or weed pot brownie was found in the bakery. One of the three accused was the main supplier of the contraband from Bandra, Mumbai.[4]

  • Cannabis imported from USA in the name of Covid Relief

In these difficult covid-19 times, the Narcotics Control Bureau found a parcel sent from the United States to India stating covid relief emergency food for covid-19. As the agency open the parcel 2.2kgs of cannabis was found and seized by them.[5]

  • International Drug Racket

In December 2019, nine people were arrested and 20kg of cocaine was seized which was worth Rs.1.3 crore. The Narcotics Control Bureau busted this international drug racket which was spread across more than seven countries. [6]


The Narcotics Control Bureau is an agency responsible for fighting drug trafficking and the abuse of illicit substances. A big racket of drug and dealership has been unfolded in the Bollywood industry after one case which is the Sushant Singh Rajput drug case.

Like a domino effect, names of various people and celebrities have come up one after the other. Numerous FIR’s have been registered by the Narcotic Control Bureau and a rise in cases of drug and psychotropic substances have been seen by the agency in the past year.

Since, the number of cases has increased the Narcotics Control Bureau have reached out to various NGO’s for placing many accused who are in need rehabilitation into such rehabilitation centers.


  • mha.gov.in– Ministry of Home Affairs- Roles and Functions of Narcotics Control Bureau.
  • allgov.com – ALLGOV India- Narcotics Control Bureau
  • narcoticsindia.nic.in Narcotics Control Bureau- About Narcotics Control Bureau
  • The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985
  • The Indian Constitution
  1. India’s first Darknet narcotics operative held, available at: thehindu.com (Last Visited on June 19th, 2021)
  2. Karen Periera, Bharti Dubey, #BigStory: Sushant Singh Rajput case, a complete story available at: timesofindia.com (Last Visited on June 19th, 2021)
  3. NCB sniffs out new trend of consuming edible weeds in cakes after raiding Mumbai Bakery; 3 held, available at: economictimes.indiatimes.com (Last Visited on June 19th, 2021)
  4. Ahmed Ali, Mumbai: NCB Seizes over 2kg cannabis sent from US as Covid Relief, available at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com (Last Visited on June 19th, 2021)
  5. Global drug racket spread across 7 countries busted, drugs worth Rs. 1.3 crore seized, available at: hindustantimes.com (Last Visited on June 19th, 2021)

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