Gangtok, Feb 22 (UNI) The House today unanimously passed the Sikkim Anti-drug Bill to tackle the rising problem of drug abuse and controlled substances in the state.
The Bill was introduced on Monday by Minister for Health H Lachungpa as there was no law to deal with the rpoblem specifically.
The new act prohibited sale, stock, trade and transport of any controlled substances without a valid license and provides stringent penalities for its violations and abuse.
The act imposes different penalities for different people for violating the rule. The act provided punishment for the license dealers, government employees, transporters, abetteors, manufacturers, financers, addicts, harbouring offenders and for hatching conspiracy.
The punishment ranged from minimum imprisonment of six months to a fine of Rs 10,000 to imprisionment of five yearws and fine of Rs one lakh.
Government employees punishable under the act are liable to go under imprisonment for six months and fine of which may extend to Rs 20,000 and also liable to be dismissed from service.
An unemployed person convicted under the act would disqualify himself for any government job.
No sentences awarded under the act shall be suspended, remitted or commutted except the persons convicted for transporting the controlled goods.
The act empowers the designated officers to entry, search, seize and arrest without any warrant or authorisation.
But the law has provision that says any officer misuing the act to harassa person without any valid reason would be punished.
Besides penalities, the act provides for identification, rehabilitation, treatment of adicts and educating the public about the drug abuse.
A fund called State fund for controll of drugs abuse had been constituted, a sum of Rs 50 lakh had been allotted for the purpose in the first year of the implementation of the act.
In addition to it the House also passed the Sikkim Transport Infrastructure Development Fund (Amendment ) bill, Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management University Sikkim bill, and the Sikkim University of Health Medical and Technological sciences (Amendment) Bill.
However, the House sent the Sikkim Tax on Profession Trades and callings and Employment bill to the select committee.
The Bill was sent after Chief Minister P Chamling told the house that he had received a number of suggestions after the bill was ontroduced in the House on Monday and requested the Deputy Speaker to sent the Bill to the Select Committee.
The bill would now be moved on February 25 after the select committee under the Chairmanship of Mr Chamling subitted its report tomorrow.
Besides Mr Chamling, the other members of the Select Committee were Minister for law and Industries R B Subba, and Mr G C Rai and N Lepcha (both MLAs).
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