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3.5 Collective reiterates need to recognise drug users as victims

3.5 Collective, fighting a legal battle, seeks court difination of ‘victims’ of the crime of drug trafficking.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 24 Dec 2022, 7:39 am

(Representational Image: Unsplash)
(Representational Image: Unsplash)

The "3.5 Collective", a group of civil society organisations and rights activists, on Friday lauded Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in the Lok Sabha that those involved in drug trafficking should not be spared, while drugs users should be dealth with more sensitively.

"Those consuming drugs are victims and we should be sensitive towards them. But those involved in drug trafficking should not be spared,” Amit Shah said in the House.

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The 3.5 Collective in a release reiterated the need to recognise drug users as victims of drug trafficking, rather than the obsolete practice of considering them as criminals as per section 27 of the NDPS Act.

The collective, currently fighting a legal battle, has sougth the Supreme Court to define the ‘victims’ of the crime of drug trafficking so that drug users can file appeal against the acquittal of drug traffickers when the state government fails to do so, it mentioned.

“This is a fallout of the controversial judgment of the NDPS court in Special Trial Case No 100 of 2018 dated December 17 2020, acquitting Lukhosei Zou and 11 co-accused despite overwhelming evidence on record of their involvement in drug trafficking and the government of Manipur’s indolence to go for an appeal,” it alleged.

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The 3.5 Collective approached the High Court of Manipur to grant the ‘leave of appeal’ against the NDPS judgment, but the court declined on the ground that the practitioners are not ‘victims’ and therefore do not have the right to file an appeal, it further stated.

The organisation further moved a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the judgments of the NDPS and the High Court of Manipur, and it was only after the apex court had pulled up the Manipur governement to give the reason for not going for an appeal that it finally filed the much-awaited appeal on April 26, it stated.

The organisation has already submitted a detailed interlocutory application for a liberal interpretation of the term ‘victim’ in the criminal law of India to widen its definition as envisaged in the ‘UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, 1985, it added.

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Tags:

drug users3.5 collectivedrug traffickingdrug victims

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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