This article on ‘Narcotics Control Bureau: Powers and functions‘ was written by Ananta Kashyap, an intern at Legal Upanishad.
Narcotics are non-medical drugs that affect mood or behaviour. Drug and alcohol usage is illegal. Many narcotics and psychiatric substances are traded illegally throughout the country. Article 47 allows the government to outlaw harmful drugs and alcohol to address this issue. The federal government severely enforced heroin and LSD bans in 1985. This law governs psychoactive drug distribution and abuse. This article attempts to analyse the powers, functions, and role of the Narcotics Control Bureau under the laws of India.
The Narcotics Control Bureau
On March 17, 1986, the Narcotics Control Bureau was established. The Central Government may create an authority by issuing an order in the off judgment Ette under Section 4(3) of the Narcotics, Drugs, and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act, 1985).
The current Director General is Mr. Rakesh Asthana, who is also an IPS officer.
Delhi is home to the Narcotics Control Bureau’s administrative offices. The government clarified that the Narcotics Control Bureau is not a statutory organization but rather a nodal agency after the drug-free judgment was issued by the High Court of Kerala.
It’s an organization dedicated to enforcing drug laws and gathering data on the industry. The aforementioned body works in tandem with the Department of Home Affairs.
Their slogan is “Intelligence, Enforcement, Coordination,” their mission is to “Prevent and fight misuse and illegal trade of drugs,” and their vision is to “Endeavour for a drug-free society.”
The Narcotics Control Bureau follows both domestic and international laws, including the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Convention.
Goals of the Organization
The fundamental reason for the creation of the Narcotics Control Bureau is to put an end to the unlawful production, distribution, and export of narcotics and psychotropic substances. It collects data on the cultivation, production, distribution, and transportation of illegal narcotics, chemicals, and other contraband items out of the country.
The agency reserves the right to confiscate, arrest, or perform a raid upon discovering such leads of illegal activity being done by any person or in any place. Because of the frequency with which the accused is exonerated on technical reasons that the agency fails to address, it has published a handbook for its field officers titled “Drug Law Enforcement Field Officer’s Handbook.”
Elements of the Narcotics Control Bureau
- Coordinating the efforts of officers, state governments, and other authorities to enforce the primary Act by the Customs Act of 1962, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1940, and any other applicable legislation.
- Carrying its commitments to take countermeasures against illegal transportation as outlined in relevant international accords.
- Helping foreign authorities and international organizations coordinate and take uniform action to stop the spread of illegal narcotics and other psychoactive substances is a top priority for the United States government.
- Coordinating efforts on drug misuse issues with the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare, Welfare, and any other relevant Ministries, Departments, or Organizations.
Description of the Narcotics Control Division’s Duties
The Narcotics Control Bureau’s primary roles include:
- facilitating cooperation between federal and state drug enforcement agencies; and
- assisting individual states in strengthening their drug enforcement infrastructure.
- Intelligence gathering and distribution.
- Investigation of patterns and methods of operation based on seized information.
- Compilation of Drug Enforcement Agency Data on a National Scale.
- Keeping in touch with international organizations like the United Nations Development Programme, the International Criminal Police Organization, the Customs Cooperation Council, the Regional Integration and Localization Office, etc.
- A centralized hub for all domestic inquiries and information gathering.
Activities and Achievements
- In February 2020, the Narcotics Control Bureau made history by arresting the country’s first significant darknet operator, who was responsible for shipping hundreds of packages containing psychotropic drugs overseas. Substances that alter one’s mental state are often traded on the “darknet,” a clandestine online marketplace. Due to the use of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies for payments and end-to-end encryption, it is difficult to get information and leads on such platforms.
The Narcotics Control Bureau participated in “Operation Trance,” which began in December 2019. Mr. Dipu Singh was found in possession of 55,000 pills of various psychotropic drugs, including tramadol, zolpidem, and alprazolam.
The operation went place over the course of two months with the assistance of foreign organizations.
- When actor Sushant Singh Rajput died, the Narcotics Control Bureau gained widespread attention. Multiple factors and perspectives were taken into account while determining what led to his demise.
- After the Enforcement Directorate uncovered certain WhatsApp conversations between actress Rhea Chakraborty and others about “hardcore drugs,” the Narcotics Control Bureau joined the investigation. On August 26, 2020, the CBI and the ED filed an FIR against Rhea Chakraborty under sections 22, 27, and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, and the Narcotics Control Bureau joined in.
Based on their findings, the Narcotics Control Bureau filed charges against the actress’s brother, Mr. Showik Chakraborty, and the home manager of the late star, Mr. Samuel Miranda.
In 2020, the Narcotics Control Bureau issued warnings to several Bollywood stars for their alleged involvement in drug use. The Narcotics Control Burau even made several arrests after discovering narcotics in private locations.
The Narcotics Control Bureau questioned several Bollywood stars, including Karan Johar, Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, etc. The Narcotics Control Bureau has uncovered several identities and has made over 30 arrests in connection with the narcotics investigation.
Recently, a drug dealer named Hemal Shah was detained in Goa on suspicion of involvement in the Sushant Singh Rajput case by the Narcotics Control Bureau. The NCB has repeatedly uncovered that a drug kingpin known only as “Flacko” has been shipping narcotics to many A-listers in Bollywood directly from Dubai.
- The Narcotics Control Rearrested a wanted drug dealer and recovered approximately 12 kg of marijuana in a vehicle in June of 2021. The drug dealer was captured in the Thane region.
- Recently, the Narcotics Control Bureau searched for a bakery in Malad, Mumbai, and detained three persons for having cannabis brownies in their hands. It seems that cannabis pot brownies, also known as edible pot brownies, are the latest thing in bakeries. From Bandra, Mumbai, one of the three suspects mostly supplied the illegal goods. The Narcotics Control Bureau in India uncovered a parcel marked “covid relief emergency food for covid-19” amid the current covid-19 crisis. When the box was opened, they found the desired 2.2 kg of cannabis.
- In December 2019, nine individuals were apprehended, and 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of cocaine (worth over Rs.1.3 crore) was recovered. Over seven nations were involved in this worldwide drug ring that the Narcotics Control Bureau uncovered.
The Narcotics Control Bureau is a government organization that works to reduce drug usage and trafficking. The Sushant Singh Rajput drug case has exposed a widespread drug trafficking and distribution network inside the Bollywood industry.
Names of many persons and celebrities have been mentioned one after another, like a domino effect. The Narcotic Control Bureau has noticed an increase in instances involving drugs and psychotropic substances, as well as a rise in the number of First Information Reports (FIRs) that have been filed. The Narcotics Control Bureau has gone out to several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to facilitate the placement of numerous accused individuals in need of rehabilitation in such facilities.
- About NCB, Narcotics India, available at: https://narcoticsindia.nic.in
- Stuti Hasmukh Oswal, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and its Role and Functions, Law Insider, 17 May 2022, available at: https://www.lawinsider.in/columns/narcotics-control-bureau-and-its-role-and-functions
- ROLE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU, Ministry of Home Affairs, available at: https://www.mha.gov.in/commoncontent/role-and-functions-narcotics-control-bureau