HC stays case against drug addict, allows him to undergo de-addiction programme

The petitioner was booked by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Bengaluru in May 2021 for consumption of ganja

The petitioner was booked by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Bengaluru in May 2021 for consumption of ganja

A 34-year-old drug addict got a chance at reformation, with the High Court of Karnataka staying the criminal proceedings against him after he voluntarily agreed to undergo medical treatment for de-addition at a hospital recognized for de-addiction programme.

Justice M. Nagaprasanna passed the order on a petition filed by Rafsal KR who is residing in a luxury apartment near Whitefield in Bengaluru.

Quashing sought

The petitioner had sought quashing of the case against him by volunteering to undergo the de-addiction treatment. While the Court declined to quash the proceedings at this stage, it permitted him to undergo the treatment as per Section 64A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, which gives immunity from prosecution to addicts who volunteer for treatment.

The Court also asked him to file a report regarding the success or otherwise of the de-addiction treatment and the status of his health by November 21.

Booked by NCB

The petitioner was booked by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Bengaluru in May 2021 for consumption of ganja. He was arranged as one of the accused based on the statement given by Abhishek Roy, an alleged drug peddler. Roy had given the names of his customers, including that of the petitioner to the NCB.

Rafsal was booked under Section 27 of the NDPS Act for consumption of drugs, which attracts punishment of up to one year with fine if found guilty.

The petitioner admitted before the High Court that he was a drug addict and filed an affidavit giving an undertaking to undergo de-addition programs as per the NDPS Act.

provision of law

Section 64A of the NDPS Act states that any addict who is charged with an offense punishable under section 27 or with offenses involving small quantity of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances who voluntarily seeks to undergo medical treatment for de-addiction from a hospital or an institution recognized by the Government and undergoes such treatment, shall not be liable for prosecution under section 27 or under any other section for offenses involving small quantity of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substance.

However, this immunity from prosecution can be withdrawn if the addict does not undergo the complete treatment for de-addiction, says the Act.

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