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Special provision for addicts

Possession of drugs is itself an offence under the NDPS Act as much as sale, purchase, production, etc. The punishment does not depend on whether the possession or purchase is for personal use or for resale but depends on the quantity of the drug.

Consumption of drugs is an offence under section 27 of the NDPS Act and is punishable with imprisonment of up to one year (in case of some drugs) or six months (in case of all other drugs).

However, addicts volunteering for treatment get immunity under section 64A of the Act.

64A. Immunity from prosecution to addicts volunteering for treatment Any addict, who is charged with an offence punishable under section 27 or with offences involving small quantity of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, who voluntarily seeks to undergo medical treatment for de-addiction from a hospital or an institution maintained or recognized by the Government or a local authority and undergoes such treatment shall not be liable to prosecution under section 27 or under any other section for offences involving small quantity of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances:

Provided that the said immunity from prosecution may be withdrawn if the addict does not undergo the complete treatment for de-addiction.

This section provides immunity to the addict not only for consumption (section 27) but also for offences involving small quantity of drugs. Thus, an addict found possessing a small quantity of drugs can seek immunity under section 64A. However, if the addict is found carrying drugs, say, for a party and the total quantity of drugs exceeds small quantity, then he cannot get immunity under section 64A.