All about the NDPS Act under which Rhea Chakraborty has been arrested

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On 8th September, 2020, actor Rhea Chakraborty was arrested by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) under various sections of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

NDPS Act: What is it and its history of origin?

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act a.k.a. the NDPS Act, is an Act of the Parliament of India that prevents and prohibits a person from any possession, productuction, sale, purchasing, transport, storage, and/or consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance. On 23 August 1985, the bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha and was passed by both the Houses of Parliament, following which the Act came into existence through its enactment by the then President Giani Zail Singh.

Has the law been effective enough?

Reportedly, according to National Crime Records Bureau’s data, 81,778 persons were arrested under NDPS Act in 2018. Of these, 79,028 were male and 2,750 female. The data also claims the highest consumption of drugs in Punjab and Maharashtra. According to the NCB, total 49,450 cases were registered for drug seizure in 2018. These cases involved 60,156 people, including foreign nationals.

Here are the Sections under which Rhea Chakraborty has been booked

Currently, the 10 accused – including Rhea Chakraborty – have been charged under Sections 8 (c) read with section 20 (b) (ii), 22, 27A, 28, 29 and 30 of the NDPS Act, which imposes punishment against possession, sale, purchase, transport or import of cannabis and psychotropic substances along with financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders as well as abetment and criminal conspiracy, attempt and preparation of committing an offence.

Punishment will vary depending on the quantity of the quantum of drugs, which could demand a penalty of Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) for up to 6 months and fine which may extend to Rs 10,000, to seizure of large quantities which could attract a penalty of 10 years RI and fine up to Rs 2 lakh.

According to the actor, the claims of NCB is somewhat “silent and deliberately vague”. She emphasizes on the uncertain and unclear description of the quantity of the drug amount of finance, and type of drugs, she is accused to have procured and financed. To which, the NCB claims that the role of all accused is not clear but the allegations are common to all.

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