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Punishment for Offences

NDPS Act views drug offences very seriously and penalties are stiff. The quantum of sentence and fine varies with the offence. For many offences, the penalty depends on the quantity of drug involved - small quantity, more than small but less than commercial quantity or commercial quantity of drugs. Small and Commercial quantities are notified for each drug.

Under NDPS Act, abetment, criminal conspiracy and even attempts to commit an offence attract the same punishment as the offence itself. Preparation to commit an offence attracts half the penalty. Repeat offences attract one and half times the penalty and in some cases death penalty. Since the penalties under this Act are very stiff, several procedural safeguards have been provided in the Act. Some immunities are also available under the Act.

The penalties for various offences under the NDPS Act are as follows:

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

Offences Penalty Sections of the Act
Cultivation of opium, cannabis or coca plants without license Rigorous imprisonment-up to 10 years + fine up to Rs.1 lakh Opium - 18(c) Cannabis - 20 Coca-16
Embezzlement of opium by licensed farmer Rigorous imprisonment -10 to 20 years + fine Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs (regardless of the quantity) 19
Production, manufacture, possession, sale, purchase, transport, import inter- state, export inter-state or use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances Small quantity - Rigorous imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs. 10,000 or both. More than small quantity but less than commercial quantity - Rigorous imprisonment. up to 10 years + fine up to Rs. 1 Lakhs. Commercial quantity - Rigorous imprisonment 10 to 20 years + fine Rs. 1 to 2 Lakhs Prepared opium-17 Opium – 18 Cannabis - 20 Manufactured drugs or their preparations-21 Psychotropic substances -22
Import, export or transhipment of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances Same as above 23
External dealings in NDPS-i.e. engaging in or controlling trade whereby drugs are obtained from outside India and supplied to a person outside India Rigorous imprisonment 10 to 20 years + fine of Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs (Regardless of the quantity) 24
Knowingly allowing one's premises to be used for committing an offence Same as for the offence 25
Violations pertaining to controlled substances (precursors) Rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years + fine Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs 25A
Financing traffic and harboring offenders Rigorous imprisonment 10 to 20 years + fine Rs. 1 to 2 lakhs 27A
Attempts, abetment and criminal conspiracy Same as for the offence Attempts-28 Abetment and criminal conspiracy - 29
Preparation to commit an offence Half the punishment for the offence 30
Repeat offence One and half times the punishment for the offence. Death penalty in some cases. 31 Death - 31A
Consumption of drugs Cocaine, morphine, heroin - Rigorous imprisonment up to 1 year or fine up to Rs. 20,000 or both. Other drugs- Imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs. 10,000 or both. Addicts volunteering for treatment enjoy immunity from prosecution 27 Immunity - 64A
Punishment for violations not elsewhere specified Imprisonment up to six months or fine or both 32

SMALL AND COMMERCIAL QUANTITIES

For several offences under the NDPS Act, the punishment depends on whether the quantity of drug involved is small, is more than small but less than commercial or is commercial. Small and Commercial quantities for each drug have been notified. http://www.cbn.nic.in/html/qtynotif.PDF . The quantities for some common drugs are as follows:-

Drug Small Quantity Commercial Quantity
Amphetamine 2 grams 50 grams
Buprenorphine 1gram 20 grams
Charas/Hashish Charas/Hashish 1 kg
Cocaine 2 grams 100 grams
Codeine 10 grams 1 kg
Diazepam 20 grams 500 grams
Ganja 1 kg 20 kg
Heroin 5 grams 250 grams
MDMA 0.5 gram 10 grams
Methamphetamine 2 grams 50 grams
Methaqualone 20 grams 500grams
Morphine 5 grams 250 grams
Poppy straw 1 kg 50 kg

 

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