Addressing Alarming Impact of Illegal Drug Trade on Youth: Rajasthan High Court Raises Critical Questions

The High Court of Rajasthan has recently expressed grave concerns over the thriving illegal drug trade and its detrimental effects on the youth. In a significant move, the court has issued notices to both the central and state governments, urging them to address the root causes of this pervasive issue.

Justice Farjand Ali, presiding over a single bench, has deferred the hearing on a bail application for an accused involved in a case related to the recovery of a commercial quantity of medicinal drugs. The matter has been scheduled for the next hearing on January 22nd.

Taking suo motu cognizance of the matter, the court has highlighted the prevalence of cases where substantial quantities of tablets containing psychotropic substances are seized, leading to arrests. However, the court has expressed dissatisfaction with the current investigative process, which often fails to trace the origin of this social menace.

In numerous instances, the court has observed the seizure of significant numbers of tablets with psychotropic substances. It has emphasized that investigations often stop at apprehending the accused involved in the transportation or recovery of the tablets, without delving deeper into the intricate network of illegal drug distribution.

The Court has flagged a concerning pattern in the pharmaceutical sector, noting an apparent disproportion between the quantities of tablets, such as tramadol, alprazolam, and codeine phosphate syrup, stored by chemists, apothecaries, and medical store owners, and the actual requirement of the population they cater to.

Expressing apprehension over the escalating impact on society, particularly the youth, the court has posed fundamental questions to the authorities. It has questioned the existence of mechanisms to control the production and manufacturing of tablets and syrups containing psychotropic substances. Furthermore, it has raised concerns about the regulation of the distribution and circulation of these substances to dealers, distributors, and retail pharmacists.

The urgency to address this issue comprehensively has been emphasized by The Court, who notes that the consumption of illegal drugs and tablets containing psychotropic substances has become a common occurrence, significantly affecting the overall happiness index of society.

To ensure a thorough examination of the issue, the court has directed the deputy solicitor general, Mukesh Rajpurohit, and the additional advocate general, MA Siddiqui, to accept the notices and file detailed replies and suggestions on behalf of the central and state governments, respectively.

The court has delved into potential scenarios that contribute to the problem, categorizing them into three types – licensed manufacturers showing lesser quantities than actually manufactured and engaging in unauthorized transactions, licensed manufacturers misleading authorities by producing psychotropic substances, and unlicensed manufacturers involved in the illegal production of these substances.

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