SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court on Friday directed the Government of India to respond to the J&K government’s proposal for establishment of drug de-addiction centres across the state.
“We expect the Joint Secretary (J&K Affairs), Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, to respond to the proposal of the State government keeping in mind the situation prevailing in the State of J&K for establishing drug de-addiction centres in various districts of the state as indicated in the letter dated 16.02.2018 by the Special Director General of Police, J&K,” the division bench of Acting Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice M K Hanjura said.
The court said, “Considering the gravity of the Drug Addiction which the State of Jammu and Kashmir is facing as reported by the state counsel supported by the letter dated 16.02.2018 of the Special Director General of Police, J&K, we are inclined to add Joint Secretary (J&K Affairs), Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, as party respondent and to be represented by Assistant Solicitor General of India (ASGI) Tahir Majid Shamsi.”
“The ASGI shall get instructions from the Department concerned as to what steps have been taken by them to curb the menace of Drug Addiction and providing of Drug De-addiction Centers in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.”
The court also directed the state government to revisit the phenomenon of drug addiction and the treatment and control of drugs entering the state in a comprehensive manner, keeping in mind the new methods adopted globally.
The court observed that it was the duty of the government to check the menace of drug addiction and thus eradicate the root cause of various problems.
“The issue related to the drug addiction, which impacts the citizens of the state, will have to be considered on the special platform, keeping in light the matter adopted by other states in so far as the establishment of drug de-addiction centres, as for rehabilitation of the victims is concerned,” the court said.
During the hearing of the freshly filed petition on drug addiction, the petitioner’s counsel, Javed Iqbal, pointed out that addiction in the Kashmir valley has resulted in a very grim situation for want of proper facilities like de-addiction centres and other treatment services as per the needs pointed out by research and legal provisions.
He also pointed out that despite court directions, nothing much has changed on the ground. “It is an obvious fact that drugs and their availability are not very difficult for an addict. This issue needs to be addressed immediately, otherwise we will lose our younger generation to this malady forever.”
After hearing the counsel, Justice Sudhakar remarked to the authorities that these issues cannot be taken for granted. The youth are the foundation of any country, but unfortunately growing drug abuse has put our youth on the back foot.
The court had also observed that in so far as the establishment of drug de-addiction centre for rehabilitation of victims is concerned, the experience gathered from other states and also from various international forums dealing with drug addiction, it was the duty of the government to revisit the social malady.