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Decriminalise possession of small amounts of drugs: Social justice ministry

New Delhi: The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has recommended decriminalising possession of small quantities of drugs for personal consumption in its review of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act submitted to the Revenue Department.

Currently, there is no provision for relief or exemption under the NDPS Act and it only gives addicts immunity from prosecution and imprisonment if they volunteer for rehabilitation.

In its recommendations shared with the Department of Revenue last week, the ministry suggested decriminalising possession of small quantities of drugs for personal consumption, officials said.

The ministry suggested that the compulsory treatment in government centres must be given to those caught with small quantities for personal consumption instead of a jail term, an official said.

Possession of drugs is a criminal offence in India and Section 27 of the NDPS Act prescribes imprisonment of up to a year or a fine of up to Rs 20,000, or both, for consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.

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