Monday, 16 May 2016

Guidelines of Supreme court for disposal of Narcotic Drugs seized in criminal case

 To sum up we direct as under:
(1) No sooner the seizure of any Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic and controlled Substances and
Conveyances is effected, the same shall be
forwarded to the officer in-charge of the nearest
police station or to the officer empowered under
Section 53 of the Act. The officer concerned shall
then approach the Magistrate with an application
under Section 52A(ii) of the Act, which shall be
allowed by the Magistrate as soon as may be
required under Sub-Section 3 of Section 52A, as
discussed by us in the body of this judgment under
the heading ‘seizure and sampling’. The sampling
shall be done under the supervision of the
magistrate as discussed in paras 13 and 14 of this
order.
(2) The Central Government and its agencies and so also
the State Governments shall within six months from

today take appropriate steps to set up storage
facilities for the exclusive storage of seized Narcotic
Drugs and Psychotropic and controlled Substances
and Conveyances duly equipped with vaults and
double locking system to prevent theft, pilferage or
replacement of the seized drugs. The Central
Government and the State Governments shall also
designate an officer each for their respective storage
facility and provide for other steps, measures as
stipulated in Standing Order No. 1/89 to ensure
proper security against theft, pilferage or
replacement of the seized drugs.
(3) The Central Government and the State Governments
shall be free to set up a storage facility for each
district in the States and depending upon the extent
of seizure and store required, one storage facility for
more than one districts.
(4) Disposal of the seized drugs currently lying in the
police maalkhans and other places used for storage
shall be carried out by the DDCs concerned in terms

of the directions issued by us in the body of this
judgment under the heading ’disposal of drugs’.
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.652 OF 2012
Union of India …Appellant
Versus
Mohanlal & Anr. …Respondents
Dated;January 28, 2016

T.S. THAKUR, J.

1. When this appeal came up for hearing before us on 11th
April, 2012, it was contended by learned counsel for the
appellant-Union of India that Standing Order No.1 of 1989
dated 13th June, 1989 which prescribes the procedure to be
followed for seizure, sampling, safe keeping and disposal of
the seized Drugs, Narcotics and Psychotropic substances is
being followed throughout the country. It was also
contended that Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue,
Government of India, has in terms of a Circular dated 23rd
February, 2011 impressed upon the Chief Secretaries and
the concerned police heads of the State Governments to
1Page 2
ensure that instructions given and the procedure prescribed
in the Standing Order aforementioned was strictly adhered
to. These submissions notwithstanding, doubts about the
procedure being actually followed persisted. Pilferage of the
contraband goods and their return to the market place for
circulation being a major hazard, this Court appointed Mr.
Ajit Kumar Sinha, Senior Advocate, as Amicus Curiae, with a
view to making a realistic review of the procedure for
search, disposal or destruction of the narcotics and the
remedial steps that need to be taken to plug the loopholes,
if any.
2. On 3rd July, 2012 this Court after hearing the Amicus
Curiae prima facie came to the conclusion that the
procedure prescribed for the destruction of the contraband
seized in different States was not being followed resulting in
a very piquant situation in which accumulation of huge
quantities of the seized drugs and narcotics has increased
manifold the chances of their pilferage for re-circulation in
the market. This Court also noted a report published in the
timesofindia.indiatimes.com under the heading “Bathinda’s

police stores bursting at seams with seized narcotics” from
which it appeared that large quantities of seized drugs had
accumulated over the years including opium, poppy husk,
charas etc. apart from modern narcotic substances. The
report suggested that 39 lakhs sedatives and narcotic
tablets, 1.10 lakhs capsules, over 21,000 drug syrups and
1828 sedative injections apart from 8 kgs. of smack and 84
kgs. of ganja were awaiting disposal in Bathinda Police
stores alone. The position was, according to Mr. Sinha, no
better in other States especially those situate along the
international borders. It was argued by the Amicus Curiae
that without proper data from the authorities concerned, it
was not possible to take stock of the magnitude of the
problem no matter challenges posed by rampant drug abuse
had acquired alarming proportions affecting the youth, some
of whom are driven to commission of crimes on account of
deleterious effects of drug abuse.
3. It was in the above backdrop that by an order dated 3rd
July, 2012 passed in Criminal Appeal No.652 of 2012 this
Court directed collection of information from the police
3Page 4
heads of each one of the States through the Chief
Secretaries concerned in regard to seizure, storage, disposal
and destruction of the seized contraband and judicial
supervision over the same. Specific queries were formulated
in the order passed by us with a direction to the Chief
Secretaries of the States concerned to serve the same upon
the Directors General of Police for a report to be forwarded
through the Registrars General of the High Courts of the
States concerned who were appointed Nodal Officers for that
purpose. Registrars General were also asked to
independently secure from the District and Sessions Judges
concerned in their respective States, answers to the queries
specified under the head “Judicial Supervision”. Chiefs of
Central Government Agencies viz. Narcotics Control Bureau,
Central Bureau of Narcotics, Directorate General of Revenue
Intelligence and Commissionerates of Customs & Central
Excise including the Indian Coast Guard were directed to
issue similar queries to the officers concerned and to submit
their respective reports detailing the information required in
4Page 5
terms of the orders passed by this Court. The queries raised
by this Court were in the following words:
“12.1. Seizure
(i) What narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
(natural and synthetic) have been seized in the last
10 years and in what quantity? Provide yearwise and
districtwise details of the seizure made by the
relevant authority.
(ii) What are the steps, if any, taken by the seizing
authorities to prevent damage, loss and pilferage of
the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
(natural and synthetic) during seizure/transit?
(iii) What are the
circulars/notifications/directions/guidelines, if any,
issued to competent officers to follow any specific
procedure in regard to seizure of contrabands, their
storage and destruction? Copies of the same be
attached to the report.
12.2. Storage
(i) Is there any specified/notified store for storage of
the seized contraband in a State, if so, is the storage
space available in each district or taluka?
(ii) If a store/storage space is not available in each
district or taluka, where is the contraband sent for
storage purposes? Under what conditions is
withdrawal of the contraband permissible and
whether a court order is obtained for such
withdrawal?
(iii) What are the steps taken at the time of storage
to determine the nature and quantity of the
substance being stored and what are the measures
taken to prevent substitution and pilferage from the
stores?
(iv) Is there any check stock register maintained at
the site of storage and if so, by whom? Is there any
periodical check of such register? If so, by whom? Is
any record regarding such periodic inspection
maintained and in what form?
5Page 6
(v) What is the condition of the storage facilities at
present? Is there any shortage of space or any other
infrastructure lacking? What steps have been taken
or are being taken to remove the deficiencies, if
any?
(vi) Have any
circulars/notifications/directions/guidelines been
issued to competent officers for care and caution to
be exercised during storage? If so, a copy of the
same be produced.
12.3. Disposal/Destruction
(i) What narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
(natural and synthetic) have been destroyed in the
last 10 years and in what quantity? Provide yearwise
and districtwise details of the destruction made by
the relevant authority. If no destruction has taken
place, the reason therefor.
(ii) Who is authorised to apply for permission of the
court to destroy the seized contraband? Has there
been any failure or dereliction in making such
applications? Whether any person having technical
knowledge of narcotic drugs and psychotropic
substances (natural and synthetic) is associated with
the actual process of destruction of the contraband?
(iii) Was any action taken against the person who
should have applied for permission to destroy the
drugs or should have destroyed and did not do so?
(iv) What are the steps taken at the time of
destruction to determine the nature and quantity of
the substance being destroyed?
(v) What are the steps taken by competent
authorities to prevent damage, loss, pilferage and
tampering/substitution of the narcotic drugs and
psychotropic substances (natural and synthetic)
during transit from point of storage to point of
destruction?
(vi) Is there any specified facility for destruction of
contraband in the State? If so, a list of such facilities
along with location and details of maintenance,
conditions and supervisory bodies be provided.
(vii) If a facility is not available, where is the
contraband sent for destruction purposes? Under
whose supervision and what is the entire procedure
thereof?
6Page 7
(viii) Is any record, electronic or otherwise prepared
at the site of destruction of the contraband and by
whom? Is there any periodical check of such record?
What are the ranks/designation of the supervising
officers charged with keeping a check on the same?
12.4. Judicial supervision
(i) Is any inspection done by the District and
Sessions Judge of the store where the seized drugs
are kept? If drugs are lying in the store, has the
Sessions Judge taken steps to have them destroyed?
(ii) Is any report of the inspection conducted,
submitted to the Administrative Judge of the High
Court or the Registry of the High Court? If so, has
any action on the subject being taken for timely
inspection and destruction of the drugs?
(iii) Are there any pending applications for
destruction of drugs in the district concerned, if so,
what is the reason for the delay in the disposal of
such application?
(iv) What level officers including the judicial officers
are associated with the process of destruction?
(v) At what stages are the Magistrates/judicial
officers/any other officer of the court associated with
seizure/storage/destruction of drugs?
(vi) Are there any rules framed by the Court
regarding its supervisory role in enforcement of the
NDPS Act as regards seizure/storage/destruction of
drugs?
(vii) What is the average time for completion of trial
of NDPS matters?”
4. In compliance with the above directions, reports have
been submitted by all the States except the States of
Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Dadar & Nagar
Haveli, Lakshadweep, Nagaland and Pondicherry. From a
perusal of the reports so received the position that emerges
in regard to disposal/destruction of narcotic drugs and
7Page 8
psychotropic substance qua each State for the last 10 years
may be summarised as under:
DETAILS OF SEIZURE AND DISPOSAL OF DRUGS
(STATEWISE)
1) ANDHRA PRADESH
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Ganja 2,20,977.191 Kg 3910.70 Kg 217066.491 kg
(98.23%)
Opium 22.925 kg 0 22.925 Kg
(100%)
Charas 6.5 kg 0 6.5 kg (100%)
Cocaine 851.096 kg 0 851.096 kg
(100%)
Others 85.125 kg + 103
Capsules + 81
Injections 26 Amp
0
2. ASSAM
(The Information pertains only to the period of 2010-2012)
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Ganja 203.54 Kg 136 Kg 67.54 (33.18%)
Heroin .614 kg 0 .214 Kg
(34.853%)
Opium 30 gms 0 30 gms (100%)
Others 755662 41472 Nos. 714190 Nos.
(94.5%)
3. BIHAR
8Page 9
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Ganja 45 Kg 0 45 kg
Heroin 3.74 kg 0 3.74 kg
Charas 48.853 kg 0 48.853 kg
Poppy
Straws
100 kgs 0 100 kgs
Methqualo
ne
1676 kgs 0 1676 kgs
Note:- No destruction of narcotic drugs and psychotropic
substances have taken place at Patna zonal unit.
4. CHHATTISGARH
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Ganja 1,03,622.140 kg
Kg
3281.570 kg 1,00,340.57
(96.77%)
Cannabis
Plants
52478 (Nos) 380 (Nos) 52098 (Nos)
(92.7%)
Brown
Sugar
3.120 kg 0 3.129 kg (100%)
Opium 1.460 kg 0 1.460 kg (100%)
Opium
Poppy Plant
1558 pieces 0 1558 pieces
(100%)
Green
Opium Plant
3600 kg 0 3600 kg (100%)
5. CUSTOMS AND CENTRAL EXCISE
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Opium 367.007 kg 658.525 kg Destroyed more
than seized
Morphine 58.393 kg 190 kg + 88930 Pcs 58.203 kg
9Page 10
Injections (99.6%)
Heroine 1658.099 kg 739.687 kg 918.412 kg
(55.3%)
Ganja 484124.056 kg 8,43,008.559 kg Destroyed more
than seized
Hashish 77350.076 kg 12298.578 kg Destroyed more
than seized
Cocaine 640.569 kg 0 640.569 kg
(100%)
6. CHANDIGARH
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Contraband By relevant
authorities
3205.623 Kgs
900.179 Kgs 2305.444 Kgs
(71%)
Morphine 58.393 kg 190kg + 88930 Pcs
Injections
58.203 kg
(99.6%)
Heroine 1658.099 kg 739.687 kg 918.412 kg
(55.3%)
Ganja 484124.056 kg 8,43,008.559 kg Destroyed more
than seized
Hashish 77350.076 kg 12298.578 kg Destroyed more
than seized
Cocaine 640.569 kg 0 640.569 kg
(100%)
7. DELHI
• Delhi has provided two responses. One response has been provided
by the NCB, Delhi and the other by the police heads of each of the district.
• The response by NCB, Delhi is as follows :-
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Contraba
nd
8891.8373 680.376 kg 8211.4613 kg
(92.34%)
• The Response by the police heads are as follows:-
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
Difference
10Page 11
years)
By relevant
authorities
years)
Contraban
d
(Hashish,
Cocaine,
Ganja,
Heroin
etc.)
52944.577 kg 32443.456 kg 20500.601
(38.72%)
Contraban
ds
(Chemical
Substance
s in
Tablets,
Injections
)
1020669 0 1020669
(100%)
8. DAMAN AND DIU
The UT Daman and Diu has informed the Total quantity by way of a
detailed chart:
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
By relevant
authorities
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Contraba
nd
25.827 kgs 000 kgs 25.827 Kgs
(100%)
9. DIRECTORATE OF REVENUE INTELLIGENCE
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
By relevant
authorities
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Contraba
nd
174185.687 kg 2859.448 Kg 171326.239
(98.3%)
11Page 12
10. GUJARAT
• The Response of the state is divided into two parts.
• One has been provided by the office of the Ministry of Home
Affairs.
• As per the said response the total amount of contraband
seized in 10 years are 28340.047 Kg. No division of the type has
been provided.
• The total destruction in the last 10 years however is only
132.375 Kg
• The total amount of Contraband still in custody of the
authorities is 28207.672 Kgs, i.e. 99.53% of the seized amount.
• The response of the NCB Zonal Unit is as follows:
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Charas 1421.14 kg 15.056 kgs 1406.084 kg
(98.9%)
Opium 17.505 kg 0 17.505 kg
(100%)
Brown
Sugar
2.03 kg 0 2.03 kg (100%)
Heroin 3.066 kg 0 (981 gms of Heroin
was destroyed in
2000, however all the
seizures have been
made post 2003)
3.066 kg
(100%)
Others 3766.126 kg +
299 ltrs. + 1022
Tablets
525 kgs 3241.126 kgs
(86.05%) + 229
ltrs (100%) +
1022 Tablets
12Page 13
(100%)
11. GOA
The UT Chandigarh has informed the Total quantity by way of a
detailed chart:
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
By relevant
authorities
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Contraba
nd
548.746 kgs. 000 kgs 548.7476 kgs
(100%)
12. HARYANA
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Ganja 2604.077 kg 521.133 kg 2082.944 kg
(79%)
Charas 7252.513 kg 533.46 kg 6719.053 kg
(92.64%)
Opium 1086.387 kg 1972.860 Destroyed more
than seized
Smack 8200.00 kg 4169.919 kg 4030.081 kg
(49.14%)
Heroine 1.046 kg 1.300 kg Destroyed more
than seized
Brown
Sugar
2.001 kg 1.003 kg 998 kg
(49.87%)
Cocaine .325 kg 0 .325 kg (100%)
13. HIMACHAL PRADESH
The State of Himachal Pradesh has informed the Total quantity by way of
a detailed chart:
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
13Page 14
Contraba
nd
17026.714 1856.913 15169.801
(89.09%)
14. JHARKHAND
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Ganja 1793.381 kg 0 (area of cultivation
has been destroyed)
1793.381 kg
(100%)
Opium 360.59 kg 0 360.59 kg
(100%)
Brown
Sugar
1.576 kg 0 1.576 kg
(100%)
Heroine 546 kg 0 546 kg (100%)
15. KERALA
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Ganja 7588.543 Kg 2740.926 kg 4847.617 kg
(63.88%)
Heroine .536 kg 0 .536 kg (100%)
Hashish 12.368 kg 0 12.368 (100%)
Charas .063 kg 0 .063 kg (100%)
Brown
Sugar
8.432 kg 12.058 kg Destroyed more
than seized
Opium 23.697 kg 0 23.697 kg
(100%)
16. KARNATAKA
• The state of Karnataka divided its response in two parts. One is
seizure by Police and the Other is seizure by NCB
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Contraba
nd
By NCB
366.838 Kgs 000 kgs 366.838 Kgs
(100%)
14Page 15
By relevant
authorities
27291.633 Kgs
12140.592 15151.041
(55%)
17. MAHARASHTRA
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Ganja 1,14,082 kg 8750 kg 1,14,074 kg
(92.33%)
Heroin 654 kg 228 kg 426 kg
(65.13%)
Charas 2364.90 kg 471.735 1893.165
(80.05%)
Opium 613.044 kg 47.135 kg 565.909 kg
(92.31%)
Cocaine 11.049 kg 0 kg 11.049 kg
(100%)
18. MANIPUR
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Heroin 37.534 kg. 12.498 kg 25.036 kg
(66.072%)
Ganja 45343.25 kg 41963.389 kg
(Kindly refer to
the Note)
3379.861 kg
(7.45%)
Opium 233.985 kg 0 233.985 kg
(100%)
Hashish 3.05 kg 0 3.05 kg
15Page 16
(100%)
Note: The Total amount of Ganja seized post 2005 was
25913.225 kgs and the same is still lying with the authorities
since the last pretrial disposal in 2005.
19. MADHYA PRADESH
• Madhya Pradesh has divided its response in two parts. One is
seizure by Police and the other is seizure by NCB.
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
In Kgs
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
In Kgs
Difference
 In Kgs
Contraba
nd
By Police-
804376.528
BY NCB
348 kg
By Police
61384.805
By Police
-742991.723
Kgs (92%)
Destroyed
more than
seized
20. Ministry of Home Affairs NCB
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Contraban
d
By relevant
authorities
5344.12 Kgs. 4476.482 kgs 867.638 (16%)
21. ORISSA
• Orissa has divided its response in two parts. One is seizure by Police and
the Other is seizure by Excise Officials.
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Contraba By Police 0.000 By Police-
16Page 17
nd 88241.741 Kgs
By Excise
34520.854 Kgs
(100%)
0.000
88241.741 Kgs
(100%)
By Excise
34520.854 Kgs
(100%)
22. PUNJAB
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Poppy
Husk
8,93,948.452 kg 4,00,678.069 kg 4,93,270.383 kg
(55.17%)
Opium 4936.031 kg 965.818 kg 3970.213 kg
(80.43%)
Smack 20045.293 kg 104.631 kg 19940.662
(99.47%)
23. RAJASTHAN
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Brown
Sugar
146.996 kg 23.381 kg 123.615 kg
(84.094%)
Heroine 173.216 kg 3.25 kg 169.966 kg
(98.12%)
Smack 275.246 kg 82.423 kg 192.823 kg
(70.05%)
Opium 6687.081 kg 2006.745 kg 4680.335 kg
(69.99%)
Charas 935.602 kg 1192.309 Destroyed more
than seized
Ganja 176289.677 kg 2578.712 kg 174250.965 kg
(98.84%)
Poppy 99684.05 kgs 1,34,652.55 kg Destroyed more
17Page 18
Straw than seized.
24. SIKKIM
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
By relevant
authorities
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
N-10 Capsure 9156 ** 9156
(100%)
Spasmo
Proxyvon
Capsule
277367 ** 277367
(100%)
Corex/
Phensidylere
codex
3033 ** 3033 (100%)
Others ** 203.92 gms.
** The State Government of Sikkim has replied that the
destruction is done as per the orders of the Trial Court on
the conclusion of Trial. However, no details related to
disposal has been provided.
25. TAMIL NADU
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Ganja
(Dry +
Green)
656778 kg 19366.98 kg 637411.02 jg
(97.051%)
Charas 13 kg 1 kg 12 kg (92.30%)
Heroin 66.42 kg 66.425 kg 0
Cocaine 1 kg 15.4 kg Destroyed more
than seized
Brown
Sugar
0.015 kg 0 0.015 kg (100%)
Opium 30.4 kg 1.738 kg 29.262 kg
(96.25%)
Hash Oil 10 kg 1 kg 9 kg (90%)
Tidigesic
inj.
13627 vials 4095 vials 9532 vials
(69.94%)
Norphine 112 amps 0 112 amps
18Page 19
(100%)
Bosikka 9 0 9 (100%)
Diazepa
m
9.085 kg + 2706
vials
4.51 (kg or vial not
sure)
Poppy
Cap/Stra
ws
246.75 kg 125.05 kg 121.7 kg
(49.32%)
Avil 350 tabs + 55
vials
0 350 tabs + 55
vials
26. TRIPURA
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Ganja 9178.8 2642.5 kg 6536.3 kg
(71.21%)
Ganja
Dust
436 kg 87 kgs 349 kgs
(80.04%)
27. UTTAR PRADESH
• There is huge discrepancy between the Quantity seized and
the Quantity destroyed.
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Opium 1278.016 kg 198.025 kg 1079.99 kg
(84.5%)
Smack 455.543 kg 244.443 kg 211.1 kg
(46.3%)
Heroin 503.664 kg 13.759 kg 489.905 kg
(97.2%)
Ganja 92525.859 11,820.191 kg 80705.668 kg
(87.22%)
Charas 9099.432 kg 2234.481 kg 6864.951 kg
(75.44%)
Intoxicati
ng
Powder
3658.065 kg 1035.275 kg 2622.79 Kg
(71.69%)
19Page 20
(Cocaine)
Brown
Sugar
51.455 kg 1.1 kg 51.355 kg
(99.8%)
Posta
Drug
16224.591 kg 5081.988 kg 11,142.603 kg
(68.67%)
28. UTTARAKHAND
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Charas 1252.091 kg 330.459 kg 921.632 kg
(73.60%)
Doda 6783.765 kg 330.459 kg 6453.306
(95.12%)
Opium 28.899 kg 1.859 kg 27.04 kg
(93.567%)
Heroine 154.454 kg 0 154.454 kg
(100%)
Intoxicati
ng
Tablets
22413 Nos 4668 Nos. 17745 Nos
(79.17%)
Ganja 1121.740 kg 508.300 kg 613.44 kg
(54.686%)
Smack 8.761 kg + 1022
packets
0.432 kg + 530
Packets
8.329 kg
(95.06%) + 492
Packets
(48.140%)
Injection 1924 Nos 5 Nos. 1919 Nos
(99.74%)
Brown
Sugar
.389 kg 0 .389 kg (100%)
29. WEST BENGAL
Item Total Quantity
Seized (In 10
years)
By relevant
authorities
Total Quantity
Destroyed (in 10
years)
Difference
Contraba
nd
88520.3317 kg 0 88520.3317 kg
(100%)
20Page 21
Note:- West Bengal has stated that it does not have any
immediate records available of destruction.
5. In regard to the storage of NDPS substances, the State
Governments and the Central Agencies have furnished
information which the learned Amicus Curiae has tabulated
as under:
Annexure D
Delhi Govt. Gujarat Govt. Guwahati Govt.
Yes, specified store for
storage of the seized
contraband in Delhi Zonal
Unit.
No specific store. NBC Guwahati Zonal Unit is
running from a rented
house and one secured
room is earmarked as
storage place.
Imphal Govt. Mizoram Govt. Tripura Govt.
Stored in godown of
NCB -1 after sealing.
No specific store No specified store.
Meghalaya Govt. Uttar Pradesh Govt. Maharashtra Govt.,
Goa and Daman Diu
Excise Malkhana is
generally used to store
contrabands.
All district Excise office
have their own Malkhana
rooms.
UP has no specific place for
storage of the narcotic
drugs.
No specific store in
Maharashtra for storage.
In Goa: Malakhana at Police
Station.
Daman & Diu and Dadar &
Nagar Haveli: Kept in
Malkhana Police Station.
Then sent to storage of
competent Court after
chargesheet is filed.
Himachal Pradesh
Govt.
Chhattisgarh Govt. Andhra Pradesh
Govt.
No specified area. No separate storage. No specified area.
Rajasthan Govt. Sikkim Govt. Uttarakhand Govt.
No specific store. No storage. No specific store.
Jharkhand Govt. Kerala Govt. Karnataka Govt.
No specific store. No specific storage. No notified store.
Madhya Pradesh
Govt.
Orissa Govt. Bihar Govt.
21Page 22
Yes, NCB Zonal Unit Indore
ahs well-secured specific
maalkhana (Submissions by
NCB Indore Zonal unit)
No specific Store for storage
after seizure by Police
Station. (Submissions by
Police Heads)
No specific store. Patna Zonal Unit of NCB has
specified room.
Withdrawal only under
order of the Court.
Punjab Govt. Haryana Govt. Chandigarh Govt.
No specified store. Malkhana in all police
stations for storage of
contraband Narcotics Drugs
and Psychotropic
Substances.
A Room called Malkhana is
specifically designated to
keep the seized
contrabands.
Tamil Nadu Customs and Central
Excise
Directorate of
Revenue
Intelligence
No Specific storage space. No specific storage is
available
No specific store of its own.
NCB, Jodhpur Zone NCB, Chandigarh
Zone
West Bengal
Yes, But no sub-zone
available.
A separate room has been
specified for storage of
seized contraband.
The seized goods are stored
in Police Station Malkhana
under the charge of a
designated Police Officer
and supervision of officer in
charge of Police Station.
6. Similarly, in answer to the query as to the steps taken
at the time of storage to determine the nature and the
quantity of the substance being stored and measures to
prevent substitution and/or pilferage from the stores, the
State Governments have sent their replies which too have
been summarised by the Amicus Curiae in the following
words:
ANNEXURE-F
22Page 23
iii. What are the steps taken at the time of storage to determine the nature and
quantity of the substance being store and measures to prevent substitution and
pilferage from stores?
Delhi
Govt.
Gujarat
Govt.
Guwahati
Govt.
Imphal
Govt.
Mizoram
Govt.
Tripura
Govt.
Proper
entry in
malkhana
register
and
malkhana
incharge
and
properly
locked and
guarded
@Pg 10 of
Delhi Govt.
submission
Writer head
of Police
station
maintains
muddamal
register
which has
complete
details. All
subsequent
withdrawal
and
redisposition
are also
reflected in
the
muddamal
register
@Pg.2 of
Gujarat
Govt.
submission
Complete
process of
classification
and
weighing of
drugs along
with
measures of
prevention
of pilferage
mentioned
at
@ Pg.No.52
of Guwahati
Govt.
submission
Complete
process of
classification
and
weighing of
drugs along
with
measures of
prevention
of pilferage
mentioned
at
@ Pg. No. 74
of Imphal
Govt.
submission
Utmost care in
weighing and
measurements
by officer-incharge.
@page 101 of
submissions by
Mizoram Govt.
Malkhana
officer
incharge
carefully
keeps the
contrabands
in the
malkhana
after
maintaining
register.
@Pg.No.3 of
submission
by Tripura
Govt.
Meghalaya
Govt.
Uttar
Pradesh
Govt.
Maharashtr
a Govt., Goa
and Daman
Diu.
Himachal
Pradesh
Govt.
Chhattisgar
h Govt.
Andhra
Pradesh
Govt.
General
duty of
detecting
officer to
weigh, seal
the
contraband
with
signatures
of civilian
witnesses
with proper
entry in
register
and lock it.
@pg.7
Annex-A-2
After Seizure
the
concerned
drug is
weighed.
Subsequentl
y a sample is
taken out of
the bag and
both are
weighed
separately.
Contraband
is packed and
kept safe
with
Muddemal
Clerk in
separate
cupboard.
@ Pg.6.
Goa:
Contraband
packed and
sealed at the
spot of
NDPS is
seized by
investigatin
g officer.
After
samples are
taken, the
same is
seized by
I.O. affixing
his own seal
and later
resealed by
SHO before
consigning
it to the
safe
Details of all
steps to
determine
the nature
and quantity
of the
substance
being store
and measures
to prevent
substitution
and pilferage
from stores
elaborated @
Pg.No. 3 of
submissions
by
During the
storage the
details are
entered in
storage room
register.
Store room is
duly sealed
and armed
guards/statio
n watch are
posted.
@ pg.no. 2 of
A.P. Govt.
23Page 24
of
Meghalaya
Govt.
Submission
/
---------
Acc. To
Report of
Comm. Of
Customs @
Pg.67:
Stored in
Central
Godown in
safes and
vaults with
double
locking
system
under
command
of a
Gazetted
Officer.
Both the
sample and
main stock
are wrapped
in a piece of
cloth and are
sealed.
The sample
is sent for
forensic
testing and
the main
packed is
sealed and
kept in the
malkhana.
@ Pg.6 of
submissions
by U.P.
Govt.
seizure.
Entry in
Mudamma,
register to
show chain of
movements
and its
custody. @
pg. 8.
Daman &
Diu and
Dadar &
Nagar
Haveli:
there are
very remote
chances of
substitution/
pilferage as
the stored
goods are
subject to
periodical
inspection.
Page 9 of the
Response
custody in
police
malkhana of
the Police
Station.
@ Pg.No.3
of HP Govt.
submission.
Chhattisgarh
Govt.
submission
Rajasthan
Govt.
Sikkim
Govt.
Uttarakhand
Govt.
Jharkhand
Govt.
Kerala
Govt.
Karnataka
Govt.
No specific
answer.
However
packing
resources for
storage are
used
according to
quantity and
nature of the
contraband.
@ Pg.No. 2
of
submission
by Rajasthan
Govt.
NDPS is
packed and
sealed
under
stamp of
IO and
nature and
quantity
recorded in
presence of
individual
witnesses.
Page 11 of
the
Response.
NDPS sample
is sent to
forensic
laboratory.
For
preventing
substitution,
details
entered into
station diary
of the
concerned
police
station.
Complete
safety
measures
mentioned in
Annex-3 with
the govt.
Material
objects is
sealed and
packed
properly.
Page 9 of
the
Response
During
recovery a
pinch of the
substance is
tested with the
help of field
drug test kit
for an
indicative test.
After positive
indicative
result, the
officer makes
detailed
inventory. The
seized goods
are stored in
the
departmental
godown or the
24Page 25
submission.
Page 5 of the
Response
judicial godown
and only a
representative
sample is sent
to the
laboratory for
chemical
analysis.
@ pg. 10 of
submission by
Karnataka
Govt.
Madhya
Pradesh
Govt.
Orissa
Govt.
Bihar Govt. Punjab
Govt.
Haryana
Govt.
Chandigarh
Govt.
By NCB
Indore Zonal
Office.
Seized
contraband
wrapped in
transparent
polythene
and then in
white cloth
before
sealing and
signing it.
Quality and
amount of
seized drug
is also
mentioned in
the packet.
@ Pg. 5 of
submissions
by M.P. Govt.
By police
heads of
districts:
A seizure
memo is
again
prepared u/s
Seized
drugs are
sealed in
such a
manner as
to minimize
the chances
of pilferage.
After
producing
the seized
goods with
permission
of court the
drugs are
deposited in
maalkhana
in sealed
condition
with proper
entry and
under the
custody of
Maalkhana
Officer.
Page 2 and
3 of the
Response.
Seized
drugs are
sealed and
produced
before the
Court and
then stored
in
Maalkhana
after entry
in registers.
Pg. No. 3 of
submission
by Bihar
Govt.
Police
officials
deployed at
all NDPS
Maalkhana
stores. Case
property
register No.
19 is
maintained.
Procedure as
per and
Punjab Police
rules 1934.
Inspection
by gazette
officers.
@ pg.no. 16
and 17 of
submission
by Punjab
Govt.
Weekly and
fortnightly
reports
obtained
from all
concerned
regarding
seized/
storage of
NDPS.
Stock
Register is
maintained
by field
units and
periodical
checking is
done.
@ pg. 121
of
submission
of Haryana
Govt.
Seized
contraband is
safely kept in
Malkhana
under lock.
No more
details
mentioned.
25Page 26
55 of NDPS
Act at the
time of
storage in
the police
station
malkhana
and sealed
by Station
House
Officer.
Necessary
entries are
made in the
Rojnamcha
and seized
property
register
maintained in
the police
station.
At page 4 of
the
Response.
Tamil Nadu Directorate of
Revenue
Intelligence
NCB Zonal
Officer,
Jodhpur
NCB Zonal
Office,
Chandigarh
Customs
and Central
Excise
No such
instance has
arisen.
The sealed
contained
containing the
seized goods is
handed over to
Custodian under
proper
documentation.
The inventory,
seizure memo
as well as the
paper seals on
the sealed
container are
duly signed by
the panch
witnesses,
accused and
seizing officer.
The custodian
are responsible
for appropriate
As per
Government
of India
Notification,
circular 1/89
page 3 of the
Response.
The seized
goods are
stored lot wise
and stored
under proper
lock and key
under the
supervision of
ITBP Guard.
No one other
than the store
in charge is
authorized to
enter the
store.
Page 6 of the
Response.
The seized
contraband is
deposited in
the godown/
malkhana on
the basis of
the
particulars
mentioned in
the seizure
memo/
panchnama.
Proper and
secured
packing and
sealing of the
contraband
ensures its
safety.
Page 11 of
the Response.
26Page 27
action to
prevent
substitution and
pilferage.
West Bengal
The seized
goods are
packed
labeled and
sealed by the
Officer and
are handed
over to the
officer in
charge with
copy of
seizure list.
Details are
also
incorporated
in the
Malkhana
Register
having
counter
signed of
dealing
officer.
7. The reports submitted by the State Governments and
the Central Agencies further claim that stock registers
maintained at the storage sites are periodically checked by
the staff mentioned in the reports. Another question that
was asked from the State Governments and the Central
Agency relates to the condition of the storage facilities,
shortage of storage facilities, if any, and whether any steps
have been taken or are being taken to remove the
deficiencies. Answers to those queries suggest that no
27Page 28
proper storage facilities are available in most of the States.
For instance, in Gujarat no special storage facility is
available for keeping the contraband, which is, therefore,
stored in general muddamal room. In Assam the NBC
Guwahati Zonal Unit is said to be running from a rented
house and one secured room is earmarked for storage with
triple locking system under the supervision of the
Superintendent. In Imphal, the store room is overflowing
with contraband. Since there is shortage of space, pre-trial
disposal process has been initiated to decrease congestion in
godowns. Although Mizoram Government claims that there
is no lack of storage facility, no information as to any
specific storage facility being earmarked for the purpose has
been provided. In Tripura the enforcement branch is said to
be maintaining the malkhana used for storage of
contrabands. In Himachal Pradesh there is no storage facility
except an old building used for the purpose, while in
Chhattisgarh the storage facility is satisfactory but not
sufficient for bulk storage. Similarly, Rajasthan has scarcity
of storage facility. Jharkhand has no separate storage facility
28Page 29
at all whereas Kerala has satisfactory storage facilities only
in some of the districts. In Orissa and Bihar the storage
facilities are totally insufficient and unsatisfactory. States of
Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Daman Diu and Dadar &
Nagar Haveli and Andhra Pradesh claim to have no problems
with storage facility while Tamil Nadu does not have any
separate storage.
8. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has not provided
any information while NCB Zonal Office, Jodhpur has no
shortage of space. NCB Zonal Office, Chandigarh has
reported insufficiency of space and has started the process
for construction of a specified storage facility. Customs and
Central Excise Authority has reported that their godown is
full and no more space is available.
9. In answer to the question as to who is authorised to
apply to the Court to destroy the seized contraband and
whether there has been any failure or dereliction in making
such applications and whether any person having technical
knowledge of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance
(natural and synthetic) is associated with the process of
29Page 30
destruction of the contraband, the reply submitted by the
State Governments suggest that different persons in
different States have been authorised to make such
applications to the Courts concerned except in Tripura where
no particular person is authorised. In some cases Officer-incharge
of the Police Station has been authorised while in
others the I.O. is also empowered to apply for permission to
destroy the contraband. In answer to the question whether
any action has been taken against anyone who should have
applied for permission to destroy the narcotics but had not
done so, State Governments have all answered in the
negative implying thereby that either no dereliction of duty
has occurred on the part of any officer competent to apply
for destruction or no action has been taken for any such
dereliction.
10. Similarly, regarding the steps taken at the time of
destruction to determine the nature and quantity of the
substance being destroyed, the reports submitted by the
State Governments give varying answers. There is no
uniformity in the procedure adopted by those associated or
30Page 31
in charge of the process of destruction. The reports suggest
as if adequate steps are taken to prevent damage, loss,
pilferage and tampering/substitution of the narcotic drugs
and psychotropic substances from the point of search to the
point of destruction but there is no uniformity or standard
procedure prescribed or followed in that regard. Having said
that we must mention that we are in these proceedings
concerned with the following three issues only for the
present:
(ι) Seizure and sampling of the Narcotic drugs and
Psychotropic substances
(ιι) their storage and
(ιιι) their destruction
Seizure and sampling:
11. Section 52-A(1) of the NDPS Act, 1985 empowers the
Central Government to prescribe by a notification the
procedure to be followed for seizure, storage and disposal
of drugs and psychotropic substances. The Central
Government have in exercise of that power issued Standing
Order No. 1/89 which prescribes the procedure to be
31Page 32
followed while conducting seizure of the contraband. Two
subsequent standing orders one dated 10.05.2007 and the
other dated 16.01.2015 deal with disposal and destruction
of seized contraband and do not alter or add to the earlier
standing order that prescribes the procedure for conducting
seizures. Para 2.2 of the Standing Order 1/89 states that
samples must be taken from the seized contrabands on the
spot at the time of recovery itself. It reads:
“2.2. All the packages/containers shall be serially
numbered and kept in lots for sampling. Samples
from the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
seized, shall be drawn on the spot of recovery, in
duplicate, in the presence of search witnesses
(Panchas) and the person from whose possession
the drug is recovered, and a mention to this effect
should invariably be made in the panchnama drawn
on the spot.”
Most of the States, however, claim that no samples are
drawn at the time of seizure. Directorate of Revenue
Intelligence is by far the only agency which claims that
samples are drawn at the time of seizure, while Narcotics
Control Bureau asserts that it does not do so. There is thus
no uniform practice or procedure being followed by the
States or the Central agencies in the matter of drawing of
32Page 33
samples. This is, therefore, an area that needs to be suitably
addressed in the light of the statutory provisions which
ought to be strictly observed given the seriousness of the
offences under the Act and the punishment prescribed by
law in case the same are proved. We propose to deal with
the issue no matter briefly in an attempt to remove the
confusion that prevails regarding the true position as
regards drawing of samples.
12. Section 52A as amended by Act 16 of 2014, deals with
disposal of seized drugs and psychotropic substances. It
reads:
“Section 52A : Disposal of seized narcotic drugs
and psychotropic substances.
(1) The Central Government may, having regard to
the hazardous nature of any narcotic drugs or
psychotropic substances, their vulnerability to theft,
substitution, constraints of proper storage space or
any other relevant considerations, by notification
published in the Official Gazette, specify such
narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or class of
narcotic drugs or class of psychotropic substances
which shall, as soon as may be after their seizure,
be disposed of by such officer and in such manner as
that Government may from time to time, determine
after following the procedure hereinafter specified.
(2) Where any narcotic drug or psychotropic
substance has been seized and forwarded to the
officer-in-charge of the nearest police station or to
the officer empowered under section 53, the officer
referred to in sub-section (1) shall prepare an
33Page 34
inventory of such narcotic drugs or psychotropic
substances containing such details relating to their
description, quality, quantity, mode of packing,
marks, numbers or such other identifying particulars
of the narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or
the packing in which they are packed, country of
origin and other particulars as the officer referred to
in sub-section (1) may consider relevant to the
identity of the narcotic drugs or psychotropic
substances in any proceedings under this Act and
make an application, to any Magistrate for the
purpose of-
(a) certifying the correctness of the inventory so
prepared; or
(b) taking, in the presence of such Magistrate,
photographs of such drugs or substances and
certifying such photographs as true; or
(c) allowing to draw representative samples of such
drugs or substances, in the presence of such
Magistrate and certifying the correctness of any list
of samples so drawn.
(3) When an application is made under sub-section
(2), the Magistrate shall, as soon as may be, allow
the application.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian
Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872) or the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), every court
trying an offence under this Act, shall treat the
inventory, the photographs of [narcotic drugs,
psychotropic substances, controlled substances or
conveyances] and any list of samples drawn under
sub-section (2) and certified by the Magistrate, as
primary evidence in respect of such offence.]”
13. It is manifest from Section 52A (2)(c) (supra) that
upon seizure of the contraband the same has to be
forwarded either to the officer in-charge of the nearest
police station or to the officer empowered under Section 53
who shall prepare an inventory as stipulated in the said
34Page 35
provision and make an application to the Magistrate for
purposes of (a) certifying the correctness of the inventory
(b) certifying photographs of such drugs or substances taken
before the Magistrate as true and (c) to draw representative
samples in the presence of the Magistrate and certifying the
correctness of the list of samples so drawn. Sub-section (3)
of Section 52-A requires that the Magistrate shall as soon as
may be allow the application. This implies that no sooner
the seizure is effected and the contraband forwarded to the
officer in charge of the Police Station or the officer
empowered, the officer concerned is in law duty bound to
approach the Magistrate for the purposes mentioned above
including grant of permission to draw representative
samples in his presence, which samples will then be enlisted
and the correctness of the list of samples so drawn certified
by the Magistrate. In other words, the process of drawing of
samples has to be in the presence and under the supervision
of the Magistrate and the entire exercise has to be certified
by him to be correct. The question of drawing of samples at
the time of seizure which, more often than not, takes place
35Page 36
in the absence of the Magistrate does not in the above
scheme of things arise. This is so especially when according
to Section 52-A(4) of the Act, samples drawn and certified
by the Magistrate in compliance with sub-section (2) and (3)
of Section 52-A above constitute primary evidence for the
purpose of the trial. Suffice it to say that there is no
provision in the Act that mandates taking of samples at the
time of seizure. That is perhaps why none of the States
claim to be taking samples at the time of seizure. Be that as
it may, a conflict between the statutory provision governing
taking of samples and the standing order issued by the
Central Government is evident when the two are placed in
juxtaposition. There is no gainsaid that such a conflict shall
have to be resolved in favour of the statute on first
principles of interpretation but the continuance of the
statutory notification in its present form is bound to create
confusion in the minds of the authorities concerned instead
of helping them in the discharge of their duties. The Central
Government would, therefore, do well, to re-examine the
matter and take suitable steps in the above direction.
36Page 37
14. Mr. Sinha, learned Amicus, argues that if an
amendment of the Act stipulating that the samples be taken
at the time of seizure is not possible, the least that ought to
be done is to make it obligatory for the officer conducting
the seizure to apply to the Magistrate for drawing of samples
and certification etc. without any loss of time. The officer
conducting the seizure is also obliged to report the act of
seizure and the making of the application to the superior
officer in writing so that there is a certain amount of
accountability in the entire exercise, which as at present
gets neglected for a variety of reasons. There is in our
opinion no manner of doubt that the seizure of the
contraband must be followed by an application for drawing
of samples and certification as contemplated under the Act.
There is equally no doubt that the process of making any
such application and resultant sampling and certification
cannot be left to the whims of the officers concerned. The
scheme of the Act in general and Section 52-A in particular,
does not brook any delay in the matter of making of an
application or the drawing of samples and certification. While
37Page 38
we see no room for prescribing or reading a time frame into
the provision, we are of the view that an application for
sampling and certification ought to be made without undue
delay and the Magistrate on receipt of any such application
will be expected to attend to the application and do the
needful, within a reasonable period and without any undue
delay or procrastination as is mandated by sub-section (3)
of Section 52A (supra). We hope and trust that the High
Courts will keep a close watch on the performance of the
Magistrates in this regard and through the Magistrates on
the agencies that are dealing with the menace of drugs
which has taken alarming dimensions in this country partly
because of the ineffective and lackadaisical enforcement of
the laws and procedures and cavalier manner in which the
agencies and at times Magistracy in this country addresses a
problem of such serious dimensions.
STORAGE:
15. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act,
1985 does not make any special provision regulating storage
of the contraband substances. All that Section 55 of the Act
38Page 39
envisages is that the officer in charge of a Police Station
shall take charge of and keep in safe custody the seized
article pending orders of the Magistrate concerned. There is
no provision nor was any such provision pointed out to us by
learned counsel for the parties prescribing the nature of the
storage facility to be used for storage of the contraband
substances. Even so the importance of adequate storage
facilities for safe deposit and storage of the contraband
material has been recognised by the Government inasmuch
as Standing Order No.1/89 has made specific provisions in
regard to the same. Section III of the said Order deals with
“Receipt of Drugs in Godowns and Procedure” which inter
alia provides that all drugs shall invariably be stored in
“safes and vaults” provided with double locking system and
that the agencies of the Central and the State Governments
may specifically designate their godowns for storage
purposes and such godowns should be selected keeping in
view their security angle, juxtaposition to courts etc. We
may usefully extract paras 3.2 to 3.9 comprising Section III
supra at this stage for ready reference:
39Page 40
“3.2. All drugs invariably be stored in safes and
vaults provided with double-locking system.
Agencies of the Central and State Governments,
may specifically, designate their godowns for storage
purposes. The godowns should be selected keeping
in view their security angle, juxtaposition to courts
etc.
3.3 Such godowns, as a matter of rule, shall be
placed under the over-all supervision and charge of
a Gazetted Officer of the respective enforcement
agency, who shall exercise utmost care,
circumspection and personal supervision as far as
possible. Each seizing officer shall deposit the drugs
fully packed and sealed in the godown within 48
hours of such seizure, with a forwarding memo
indicating NDPS Crime No. as per Crime and
Prosecution (C & P Register) under the new law,
name of the accused, reference of test memo,
description of the drugs, total no. of
packages/containers etc.
3.4 The seizing officer, after obtaining an
acknowledgement for such deposit in the format
(Annexure-I), shall hand acknowledged over such to
the Investigation Officer of the case along with the
case dossiers for further proceedings.
3.5 The officer-in-charge of the godown, before
accepting the deposit of drugs, shall ensure that the
same are properly packed and sealed. He shall also
arrange the packages/containers (case-wise and lotwise)
for quick retrieval etc.
3.6 The godown-in-charge is required to maintain a
register wherein entries of receipt should be made as
per format at Annexure-II.
3.7 It shall be incumbent upon the Inspecting
Officers of the various Departments mentioned at
Annexure II to make frequent visits to the godowns
for ensuring adequate security and safety and for
taking measures for timely disposal of drugs. The
Inspecting Officers should record their
remarks/observations against Col. 15 of the Format
at Annexure-II.
3.8 The Heads of the respective enforcement
agencies (both Central and State Governments) may
40Page 41
prescribe such periodical reports and returns, as
they may deem fit, to monitor the safe receipt,
deposit, storage, accounting and disposal of seized
drugs.
3.9 Since the early disposal of drugs assumes
utmost consideration and importance, the
enforcement agencies may obtain orders for pre-trial
disposal of drugs and other articles (including
conveyance, if any) by having recourse to the
provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 52A of the
Act.”
It is evident from a plain reading of para 3.2 (supra) that
storage of all drugs in safes and vaults has been made
mandatory and that agencies of the Central and the State
Governments have been permitted to designate their
godowns for storage purposes. It is also clear that keeping
in view the importance of protecting the seized drugs
against theft, substitution or pilferage the Central
Government has prescribed that such godowns shall be
placed under the overall supervision and charge of a
gazetted officer of the respective enforcement agencies who
shall exercise utmost care, circumspection and personal
supervision over the storage facilities. The provision
contained in paras 3.5, 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8 also are aimed at
ensuring that the godown or storage facility is satisfactory
41Page 42
and those in-charge of the same are made accountable for
its upkeep and effective management. Subsequent
Notification including Notification dated 16th January, 2015
have in no way diluted the above requirement. The result is
that there is a statutory framework which governs the
storage of drugs and matters relating and incidental thereto.
The question is whether the said statutory mechanism has
been effectively implemented by the Central Government
agencies and by the State Governments. Our answer
regretfully is in the negative. It is evident from the
responses received from the State and the Central
Government agencies that no notified storage facilitygodown
has been established for storage of the seized
drugs. Even the Narcotics Control Bureau has admitted to
using mallkhana of the Courts for storage of the seized
drugs in certain cases and in certain circumstances. The
Customs and Central Excise Department and DRI have also
stated that they have no designated storage facility for
storage of contraband. The position in the States is no
different. Due to non-availability of any designated godown-
42Page 43
facility with adequate vaults and double lock system, the
seized contraband is stored in police maalkhana which is a
common storage facility for all kinds of goods and weapons
seized in connection with all kinds of offences including
those specified by the IPC. This is a totally unhappy and
unacceptable situation to say the least. It is indeed
unfortunate that even after a lapse of 26 years since
Standing Order No. 1/89 was issued, the Central
Government or its agencies and the State Governments
have paid little or no attention to the need for providing
adequate storage facilities of the kind stipulated in Standing
Order No. 1/89 with the necessary supervisory and other
controls prescribed in Section III of the said order. The
result is that while Standing Order No. 1/89 very early in
point of time recognized the need for providing adequate
and effective storage facilities by the States and the Central
Government agencies, the failure on the part of the Central
Government and the State Governments to provide for such
storage has defeated, if not completely negated the very
purpose underlying the said notification and the provisions
43Page 44
made therein. There is as on date hardly any credible
protection against theft, replacement, pilferage and
destruction of the seized drugs on account of the wholly
unsatisfactory and unscientific method of storage of drugs
and psychotropic substances which at times hit the
headlines in newspapers on account of what is often
described by the agencies as “big catch” worth crores of
rupees in the international market. What has defied our
understanding is the neglect on the part of the Central
Government and its agencies and the State Governments in
realizing the importance of the storage facilities and in
providing for the same to prevent hazardous and at times
lethal substances with great potential to do harm to those
who use the same from being replaced, pilfered, stolen or
siphoned out on account of very poor supervision, control or
invigilation over such storage facilities. The learned amicus
has in that view very rightly argued that there is a complete
failure on the part of the Central Government and its
agencies as also the State Governments in taking adequate
steps for providing proper storage facilities with proper
44Page 45
system of supervision and control over the drugs that are
stored in the same. It was contended by Mr. Sinha, and in
our opinion rightly so, that the cumulative effect of the
reports submitted by the States and the Central agencies is
that only 16% of the contrabands seized between 2002 to
2012 have been actually disposed of. What happened to the
remaining 84% of such seizures is anybody’s guess and if it
is still lying in the police maalkhana, why has nobody ever
bothered to apply for their disposal according to the
procedure established by law is hard to fathom. The fact
that the States and the Central Government agencies have
accepted that no specific register is maintained by the State
Police and that general maalkhana register alone is being
maintained for the seized drugs shows the neglect of all
concerned towards this important aspect and the cavalier
manner in which the issue regarding storage of ceased drugs
is approached by them. Absence of periodical inspection of
the storage facility and the absence of any record suggesting
that any inspection has been carried out by any of the
officers shows a complete failure bordering criminal
45Page 46
negligence by officers who are supposed to be taking action
in this regard but have failed to do so.
16. The menace of drugs in this country, as observed
earlier has alarming dimensions and proportions. Studies
based on conferences and seminars have very often shown
that the menace is deep rooted not only because drug lords
have the money power and transnational links but also
because the enforcement agencies like the Police and at
times politicians in power help them in carrying on what is
known to be a money spinning and flourishing trade. We
only hope that the failure of the Central Government
agencies and the State Governments in providing what is
the bare minimum in terms of infrastructure required to
arrest the growing menace and prevent pilferage and recirculation
of drugs back into the market is not on account of
any unholy connect between the drug traffickers and the
enforcement agencies. We would comfort ourselves by
presuming them to be relatable only to apathy and
indifference and hope that the system does not get
corrupted by continued neglect lest all hopes are lost in the
46Page 47
fight against drug menace which are eating into the vitals of
our society. It is in that spirit that we deem it necessary to
issue appropriate directions to the Central Government
agencies and to the States to set up adequate storage
facilities with effective supervisory and regulatory controls
as prescribed in Notification No. 1/89.
 Disposal of Drugs :
17. Section 52A as amended provides for disposal of the
seized contraband in the manner stipulated by the
Government under Clause 1 of that Section. Notification
dated 16th January, 2015 has, in supersession of the earlier
notification dated 10th May, 2007 not only stipulates that all
drugs and psychotropic substances have to be disposed off
but also identifies the officers who shall initiate action for
disposal and the procedure to be followed for such disposal.
Para 4 of the Notification inter alia, provides that officer-incharge
of the Police Station shall within 30 days from the
date of receipt of chemical analysis report of drugs,
psychotropic substances or controlled substances apply to
47Page 48
any Magistrate under Section 52A(2) in terms of Annexure 2
to the said Notification.
18. Sub-para (2) of Para (4) provides that after the
Magistrate allows the application under sub-section (3) of
Section 52A, the officer mentioned in sub para (1) of Para
(4) shall preserve the certified inventory, photographs and
samples drawn in the presence of the Magistrate as primary
evidence for the case and submit details of seized items to
the Chairman of the Drugs Disposal committee for a decision
by the Committee on the question of disposal. The officer
shall also send a copy of the details along with the items
seized to the officer in-charge of the godown. Para (5) of
the notification provides for constitution of the Drugs
Disposal Committee while para (6) specifies the functions
which the Committee shall perform. In para (7) the
notification provides for procedure to be followed with
regard to disposal of the seized items, while para (8)
stipulates the quantity or the value upto which the Drugs
Disposal Committee can order disposal of the seized items.
In terms of proviso to para (8) if the consignments are
48Page 49
larger in quantity or of higher value than those indicated in
the table, the Drugs Disposal Committee is required to send
its recommendations to the head of the department who
shall then order their disposal by a high level Drugs Disposal
Committee specially constituted for that purpose. Para (9)
prescribes the mode of disposal of the drugs, while para
(10) requires the Committee to intimate to the head of the
Department the programme of destruction and vest the
head of the Department with the power to conduct a
surprise check or depute an officer to conduct such checks
on destruction operation. Para (11) deals with certificate of
destruction while paras (12) and (13) deal with details of
sale to be entered into the godown register and
communication to be sent to Narcotic Control Bureau.
19. There are two other aspects that need to be noted at
this stage. The first is that notification dated 16th January,
2015 does not in terms supersede Standing Order No. 1/89
insofar as the said Standing Order also prescribes the
procedure to be followed for disposal of Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic and controlled Substances and Conveyances.
49Page 50
Specific overriding of the earlier Standing Order would have
avoided a certain amount of confusion which is evident on
account of simultaneous presence of Standing Order No.
1/89 and notification dated 16th January, 2015. For instance
in para (1) of Standing Order No. 1/89 only certain narcotic
drugs and psychotropic substances enumerated therein
could be disposed of while notification dated 16th January,
2015 provides for disposal of all Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic and controlled Substances and Conveyances.
Again in terms of Standing Order No. 1/89 the procedure for
making of application was marginally different from the one
stipulated in Notification dated 16th January, 2015 not only
insofar as the procedure related to the officers who could
make the application is concerned but also in relation to the
procedure that the DDC would follow while directing
disposal. In both the notifications are prescribed the limits
upto which the disposal could be directed. In case of excess
quantity the disposal under the Standing Order No. 1/89 had
to be done in the presence of the head of the Department
whereas according to notification of 2015 in the event of
50Page 51
excess quantity or value the disposal has to be by a high
level Drug Disposal Committee to be constituted by the head
of the Department. Again while Standing Order No. 1/89
specifically required the approval of the Court for disposal,
notification dated 16th January, 2015 does not stipulate such
approval as a specific condition. Be that as it may, to the
extent the subsequent notification prescribes a different
procedure, we treat the earlier notification/Standing Order
No. 1/89 to have been superseded. In order to avoid any
confusion arising out of the continued presence of two
notifications on the same subject we make it clear that
disposal of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic and controlled
Substances and Conveyances shall be carried out in the
following manner till such time the Government prescribes a
different procedure for the same:
(1) Cases where the trial is concluded and proceedings in
appeal/revision have all concluded finally:
In cases that stood finally concluded at the trial, appeal,
revision and further appeals, if any, before 29th May, 1989
the continued storage of drugs and Narcotic Drugs and
51Page 52
Psychotropic and controlled Substances and Conveyances is
of no consequence not only because of the considerable
lapse of time since the conclusion of the proceedings but
also because the process of certification and disposal after
verification and testing may be an idle formality. We say so
because even if upon verification and further testing of the
seized contraband in such already concluded cases it is
found that the same is either replaced, stolen or pilferaged,
it will be difficult if not impossible to fix the responsibility for
such theft, replacement or pilferage at this distant point in
time. That apart, the storage facility available with the
States, in whatever satisfactory or unsatisfactory conditions
the same exist, are reported to be over-flowing with seized
contraband goods. It would, therefore, be just and proper
to direct that the Drugs Disposal Committees of the States
and the Central agencies shall take stock of all such seized
contrabands and take steps for their disposal without any
further verification, testing or sampling whatsoever. The
concerned heads of the Department shall personally
supervise the process of destruction of drugs so identified
52Page 53
for disposal. To the extent the seized Drugs and Narcotic
Substances continue to choke the storage facilities and
tempt the unscrupulous to indulge in pilferage and theft for
sale or circulation in the market, the disposal of the stocks
will reduce the hazards that go with their continued storage
and availability in the market.
(2) Drugs that are seized after May, 1989 and where the
trial and appeal and revision have also been finally disposed
of:
In this category of cases while the seizure may have taken
place after the introduction of Section 52A in the Statute
book the non-disposal of the drugs over a long period of
time would also make it difficult to identify individuals who
are responsible for pilferage, theft, replacement or such
other mischief in connection with such seized contraband.
The requirement of para 5.5 of standing order No. 1/89 for
such drugs to be disposed of after getting the same tested
will also be an exercise in futility and impractical at this
distant point in time. Since the trials stand concluded and
so also the proceedings in appeal, Revision etc. insistence
upon sending the sample from such drugs for testing before

the same are disposed of will be a fruitless exercise which
can be dispensed with having regard to the totality of the
circumstances and the conditions prevalent in the
maalkhanas and the so called godowns and storage facilities.
The DDCs shall accordingly take stock of all such Narcotic
Drugs and Psychotropic and controlled Substances and
Conveyances in relation to which the trial of the accused
persons has finally concluded and the proceedings have
attained finality at all levels in the judicial hierarchy. The
DDCs shall then take steps to have such stock also
destroyed under the direct supervision of the head of the
Department concerned.
(3) cases in which the proceedings are still pending before
the Courts at the level of trial court, appellate court or
before the Supreme Court:
In such cases the heads of the Department concerned shall
ensure that appropriate applications are moved by the
officers competent to do so under Notification dated 16th
January, 2015 before the Drugs Disposal Committees
concerned and steps for disposal of such Narcotic Drugs and

Psychotropic and controlled Substances and Conveyances
taken without any further loss of time.
20. To sum up we direct as under:
(1) No sooner the seizure of any Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic and controlled Substances and
Conveyances is effected, the same shall be
forwarded to the officer in-charge of the nearest
police station or to the officer empowered under
Section 53 of the Act. The officer concerned shall
then approach the Magistrate with an application
under Section 52A(ii) of the Act, which shall be
allowed by the Magistrate as soon as may be
required under Sub-Section 3 of Section 52A, as
discussed by us in the body of this judgment under
the heading ‘seizure and sampling’. The sampling
shall be done under the supervision of the
magistrate as discussed in paras 13 and 14 of this
order.
(2) The Central Government and its agencies and so also
the State Governments shall within six months from
55Page 56
today take appropriate steps to set up storage
facilities for the exclusive storage of seized Narcotic
Drugs and Psychotropic and controlled Substances
and Conveyances duly equipped with vaults and
double locking system to prevent theft, pilferage or
replacement of the seized drugs. The Central
Government and the State Governments shall also
designate an officer each for their respective storage
facility and provide for other steps, measures as
stipulated in Standing Order No. 1/89 to ensure
proper security against theft, pilferage or
replacement of the seized drugs.
(3) The Central Government and the State Governments
shall be free to set up a storage facility for each
district in the States and depending upon the extent
of seizure and store required, one storage facility for
more than one districts.
(4) Disposal of the seized drugs currently lying in the
police maalkhans and other places used for storage
shall be carried out by the DDCs concerned in terms
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of the directions issued by us in the body of this
judgment under the heading ’disposal of drugs’.
21. Keeping in view the importance of the subject we
request the Chief Justices of the High Courts concerned to
appoint a Committee of Judges on the administrative side to
supervise and monitor progress made by the respective
States in regard to the compliance with the above directions
and wherever necessary, to issue appropriate directions for
a speedy action on the administrative and even on the
judicial side in public interest wherever considered
necessary.
22. List the appeal for final hearing now on an early date.

……………………….…….…CJI.
 (T.S. THAKUR)
………………………….…..……J.
 (KURIAN JOSEPH)
New Delhi
January 28, 2016

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