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High Court pulled up govt. for failure to gauge the gravity of drug abuse in Punjab

January 17, 2014 | By

Chandigarh/ Punjab (January 16, 2013): According to media reports the Punjab and Haryana High Court is tightening the noose around policemen and jail officials involved in drug racket in Punjab. A Division Bench of the High Court has reportedly asked the state of Punjab to elaborate upon the number and particulars of errant cops and officials and the departmental action initiated against them.

It is learnt that the Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Arun Palli also rapped the central and the state governments for their failure to gauge the gravity of drug menace in Punjab.

The admonishment came after the Union Government refused to provide paramilitary forces for deployment around jails in the state. “It is clear that the Union Government has washed its hands off the issue of providing any mechanism for checks and balances to curtail drug menace in the jails in Punjab, ostensibly under the plea that it is a state subject.

[File Photo]

“We do believe that there is possibly a lack of appreciation of the gravity of the issue with the burden being shifted on one or the other by the Central Government and the state government,” the Bench asserted.

The Bench also took note of one of the suggestions that the Punjab Government has State Armed Police (SAP) and India Reserve Battalions at its command. These forces could easily be deployed for foolproof security of jails. The state government concerned could also request the other states to provide their SAP on mutually agreed terms and conditions. The Bench also took note of the fact that a battalion of Tamil Nadu Police was already guarding the Tihar Jail; and the same could possibly be one of the solutions. The Bench also called upon the State Government to “favourably” look into the issue of requesting another state for deployment of personnel at the outer circle of the jails, at least on an experimental basis.

During the course of hearing, Advocate Navkiran Singh reportedly told the court that jail and police officials have been caught in the racket of supplying drugs to jails. Though criminal cases have been initiated against them, departmental proceedings have not commenced. The directions came on a petition by a Mohali resident, Tarlochan Singh who was lodged at Ropar district jail.

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