Rashid Paul

HC seeks details from MHA of measures to curb menace

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Drug Addiction in J&K

Makes Joint Secretary MHA as respondent in case

Srinagar, Apr 06: Anguished over the emergent drug addiction in J&K, the High Court on Friday asked the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India (GoI) to inform it about the steps being taken to curb the menace and establish drug de-addiction centers in the state.

The court observed that Jammu and Kashmir is facing a heightened threat of drug addiction and added the Joint Secretary, MHA (J&K Affairs), GoI, New Delhi, as party respondent in a public interest petition on the issue.

“He (the joint secretary) 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,” directed the court.

The court said it expects the newly-added respondent 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 its various districts.

It referred to the mid-February 2018 communication by the Special Director General of Police, (SDGP) J&K, to the Joint Secretary (J&K Affairs), MHA, which says that the J&K Police receives Rs five crore under civic action programme annually.

“The funds received are being utilized for honorarium for two drug de-addiction centres at Jammu and Srinagar, sports activities to engage youth of the state besides assistance to the poor school-going children and holding of police-public meets, etc,” reads the letter.

The SDGP’s letter also speaks of the proposal for establishing 23 new drug de-addiction centers in all the districts of the state which involve an  amount of Rs 656.19 lakh,  with each district requiring Rs 28.53 lakh for the purpose.

The officer had accordingly requested the MHA for release of the funds.

In furtherance of the matter, an application was filed by the State government lawyer in the form of status report for appropriate orders from the court today.

The court in August 2017 has already directed the government to delineate various methods to curb the menace of drug addiction which has been looming large in the state consuming its young generation.

It had directed the government to ensure the establishment of drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centers with regular monitoring.

It had also directed the Chief Secretary of the state to hold regular meetings with the concerned departments and NGOs so that the issue relating to drug de-addiction and the impact on the citizens of the state is addressed.

The government had also been asked to 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, said the court.

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