Friday , 18 January 2019

SC asks AIIMS to formulate national action plan to combat drug menace

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has asked the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to formulate a national action plan to curb the growing menace of drug abuse in the society, including by school-going children.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also made it clear to Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, representing the Centre, that no extension of time would be granted to the government and AIIMS in formulating the policy on drug menace as the issue was of “national importance”.

“Having heard Maninder Singh, Additional Solicitor General for Union of India, we direct the authorities of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to finalise the report of the High Powered Committee on or before September 7.

“It is hereby made clear that no further extension shall be granted. The competent authorities of AIIMS shall bear in mind that framing of this policy is of national importance and it cannot brook any delay,” the bench, also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

The order came when lawyer Sravan Kumar, appearing for Ketireddy Jagadishwar Reddy, alleged that the 2016 verdict of the apex court on the plea of NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) was not being complied with.

While deciding the PIL of BBA of Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, the apex court, in December 2016, had issued a slew of guidelines and had asked the Centre to formulate within six months the national action plan to curb rising substance abuse cases among school children and had also ordered a national survey to gauge the extent of the menace.

The bench took note of the submission of the lawyer and made it clear that its directions have to be complied with without any further delay.

“A copy of the order be handed over to Balasubramanian assisting Maninder Singh (ASG) so that he can communicate it to the Director, AIIMS,” the bench said.

The AIIMS has to formulate the national policy to curb the rising drugs menace in society, besides formulating the measures to educate people about the ill effects of substance abuse.

Earlier also, the bench had taken a similar view on the plea filed by the NGO seeking enforcement of the apex court verdict delivered on its PIL in 2016.

Senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for the NGO, had said that the Centre has failed to comply with the judgement.


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