Punjab & Haryana High Court Advocates for Judicial Oversight in Procedure for Destroying Seized Contraband in Drug Trafficking Cases

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Published on: January 19, 2024 at 12:00 IST

The Punjab & Haryana High Court, while addressing the issue of drug trafficking in the border areas of Punjab, has recommended that the process of destroying seized heroin be overseen by a Judicial Officer.

In response to suo moto cognizance of drug trafficking, the court expressed the need for judicial monitoring to ensure transparency and proper handling of the seized contraband.

In a previous hearing, the Court highlighted the recovery of approximately 755 kg of narcotic items, allegedly delivered to India through drones at the border.

The division bench, consisting of Acting Chief Justice Ritu Bahri and Justice Nidhi Gupta, instructed the Punjab government to submit a detailed affidavit or status report specifying when the heroin was handed over to the state and how the state was managing the destruction of the confiscated substances.

The Court opined that the process of destroying heroin should be supervised by a Judicial Officer, emphasizing the importance of accountability in handling such critical matters.

The Haryana government was also directed to provide an updated status report on the situation.

Furthermore, the Union of India and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) were instructed to respond with information regarding the number of drug addicts in the states of Haryana and Punjab, as well as the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

In December, the Court took suo moto cognizance of a news report highlighting concerns raised by the Border Security Force (BSF) regarding preventive detention of suspected drug smugglers.

The BSF provided a list of 75 individuals suspected of involvement in drug trafficking to the Punjab Police. Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, the court directed the states to outline steps to raise awareness about drug addiction and prevent non-drug users from falling victim to the drug menace.

Case Title: Court on its own motion v. Union of India and others,”

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