Srinagar: The J&K High Court Thursday pulled up the state government for failing to take effective measures to tackle drug addiction in the state and for its delay in framing a de-addiction policy.
The court also roped in Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India (GoI), as a respondent to examine the issue, and file a response within four weeks.
“For the last 13 years, you (J&K government) have failed to frame drug de-addiction policy by stating that ‘we don’t have funds’,” the court said. “It is unfortunate that despite the matter is pending for the last 13 years, even a policy on a critical issue on drug de-addiction has not been framed till date.”
Reacting to the government counsel’s submission that state government was seeking allocation of funds from GoI, the court remarked that it fails to understand “as to what funds are required to frame the policy on drug de-addiction”.
“In the absence of a drug de-addiction policy, there cannot be any projection with regard to the manner in which the project would be conceptualized, including the geographical distribution and location of the de-addiction centers,” the division bench said.
The court said it was desirable and advantageous if the government revisits the drug de-addiction policy in the state and provide a more comprehensive mechanism to address the menace.
The court directed for urgent steps and asked Government of India to examine the issue in terms of court’s April 4, 2018 order and file a response within four weeks.
“Considering the gravity of the drug addiction which the state of Jammu and Kashmir is facing as reported by Additional Advocate General 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 counsel Tahir Majid Shamsi, learned ASGI. He 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.”
“We expect the newly added respondent, Joint Secretary, (J&K Affairs), Government of lndia, 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 centers in various Districts of the State as indicated in the letter dated 16.02.2018 of the Special Director General of Police, J&K wherein request was made for release of funds,” the division bench directed.
On previous hearing, the court had directed Chief Secretary, J&K to hold regular meetings with the concerned department and NGOs for regular monitoring and effectiveness of de-addiction centers and issues related to drug de-addiction.
“The Government shall deliberate on the methods adopted by other states for establishment of de-addiction and rehabilitation centers. The expertise from other sources will have some relevance as the issue is of concern all over the country and the world,” the court had observed.