Rashid Paul

Drug de-addiction funds: HC seeks personal appearance of Union Secy

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Directs J&K H&ME dept to update its report about establishment of de-addiction centers


Rashid Paul

Srinagar, Mar 18: The J&K High Court on Wednesday ordered personal appearance of the Secretary, Social Justice and Woman Empowerment, Government of India (GoI), for not furnishing details of funds provided to Jammu and Kashmir for drug de-addiction centres.

The direction was passed after reading through the records which revealed that no response was submitted by the Union ministry on the issue so far.

The court had earlier directed the Assistant Solicitor General of India to convey to the Secretary of the concerned Ministry of GoI to ensure that the matter is considered in right earnest and seriously.

The court had imposed penalty on central government for deviating on its orders with regard to filing of details about release of funds to the erstwhile state government of J&K for establishment of drug de-addiction centers.

The court while hearing the matter today also directed the Health & Medical Education Department (H&ME) J&K to update its report with regard to establishment of drug de-addiction centers and providing treatment to the patients suffering substance abuse.

The division bench while hearing the matter said that the instant report filed by H&ME was not in tune with the directions of the court.

The Union territory administration of J&K had been directed to submit a clear-cut action plan about the establishment of drug de-addiction centers and rehabilitation centers in the Union territory along with the geographic location of the premises where the government proposes to establish these centers.

H&ME department has pointed out only five such centers located in Government Medical Colleges of Srinagar, Jammu, Baramulla, Anantnag and Kathua respectively as envisaged in the Drug De-addiction Policy finalized by the then state in January 2019.

The counsel representing the petitioner submitted that these centers were already established. However, in view of the recent court directions and rising number of patients with drug abuse, which as per the reports have crossed two lakhs, do not meet the requirements, he said.

The bench after hearing the submissions by the counsel directed the authorities of J&K to update the status report and inform the court about the establishment of additional de-addiction and rehabilitation centers.

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