The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 23 August 1985. It was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and it was assented by the President on 16 September 1985. It came into force on 14 November 1985 as THE NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES ACT, 1985 (shortened to NDPS Act). Under the NDPS Act, it is illegal for a person to produce/manufacture/cultivate, possess, sell, purchase, transport, store, and/or consume any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
The 2014 Amendment recognizes the need for pain relief as an important obligation of the government. It creates a class of medicines called Essential Narcotic Drugs (ENDs). Power for legislation on ENDs has been shifted from the state governments to the central governments so that the whole country now can have a uniform law covering these medicines which are needed for pain relief.
Subsequently, NDPS rules which would be applicable to all states and union territories has been announced by the government of India in May 2015. It also has included 6 drugs namely Morphine, Fentanyl, Methadone, Oxycodone, Codeine and Hydrocodone. According to these rules, there is a single agency - the state drug controller - who can approve recognised medical institutions (RMI) for stocking and dispensing ENDs, without the need for any other licences. The RMIs are obliged to ensure proper documentation and to submit annual consumption statistics to the drug controller of the state.
The Act extends to the whole of India and it applies also to all Indian citizens outside India and to all persons on ships and aircraft registered in India.
A proposal to amend the NDPS Act via a Private Member's Bill was announced by Dr. Dharamvira Gandhi MP in November 2016. Dr. Gandhi's bill would legalise marijuana and opium.
Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act
The Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act is a drug control law passed in 1988 by the Parliament of India. It was established to enable the full implementation and enforcement of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is the chief law enforcement and intelligence agency of India responsible for fighting drug trafficking and the abuse of illegal substances. It was created on 17 March 1986 to enable the full implementation of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (1985) and fight its violation through the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (1988).
Anyone who contravenes the NDPS Act will face punishment based on the quantity of the banned substance.
where the contravention involves small quantity (<1 kg), with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to 6 months, or with fine which may extend to ₹10,000 or with both;
where the contravention involves quantity lesser than commercial quantity but greater than small quantity, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years and with fine which may extend to ₹1 lakh;
where the contravention involves commercial quantity, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 10 years but which may extend to 20 years and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than ₹1 lakh but which may extend to ₹2 lakh.
Cultivation/production/manufacture, possession, sale, purchase, transport, storage, consumption or distribution of
any of the following substances, except for medical and scientific purposes and as per the rules or orders and conditions of licences that may be issued, is illegal.