Dope Tests Must, Death Penalty for 1st Time Peddlers: Punjab CM

The move is part of initiatives taken by CM Amarinder Singh to eliminate the drug menace from Punjab.

2 min read
File photo of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. 

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, on 4 July, ordered mandatory dope test on all government employees, including police personnel, from the time of their recruitment through every stage of their service.

The chief minister has directed the Chief Secretary to work out the modalities and issue necessary notification in this regard, an official spokesperson said.

The chief minister has ordered drug screening to be mandatorily done in all cases of recruitment and promotions, as well as the annual medical examination that certain employees are required to undergo in accordance with the nature of their duties.

The move is part of a series of initiatives taken by the chief minister over the past three days to eliminate the drug menace from Punjab.

The orders comes on a day the chief minister formally communicated his Cabinet's recommendation to the Centre, seeking amendment to the NDPS Act to provide for death penalty for first-time offenders too.

In his letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the Chief Minister pointed out that the existing NDPS Act, 1985, provides for death penalty for certain offences, if these are committed for the second time.

"This means that a person can indulge in these nefarious activities and get away at least once, causing substantial damage to the youth and society," Amarinder Singh pointed out, adding that a harsher penalty for even first-time offenders in drug peddling could be a deterrent to those indulging in this illegal activity."

Singh has already issued a strict warning to drug smugglers and peddlers to give up their nefarious activities or face stringent action.

The Chief Minister said that urgent steps be taken to initiate the process to amend the Narcotics, Drugs and Psycotropic Substances Act to provide for more deterrent punishment to such offenders.

Given the magnitude of the drug menace, which had been denied during the last many years, enforcement steps though yielding results need to be further strengthened. In this direction, it is felt that the existing drug prevention and control laws should be revisited to provide for more deterrent punishment to the offenders.
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

The action plan executed by the Congress government in over a year has resulted in the arrest of 18,977 drug peddlers and treatment of more than two lakh addicts in the state, he said.

On 2 July, the Punjab Cabinet had decided to recommend to the Centre death penalty for drug peddlers and smugglers.

(With PTI and IANS inputs)

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