SC asks govt to comply with verdict on drugs abuse

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to take necessary steps to comply with its 2016 directions on the growing menace of drug abuse among children.

While deciding a PIL filed by NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan of Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, the apex court had in December 2016 issued several guidelines and asked the Centre to formulate within six months a national action plan to curb rising substance abuse among schoolchildren. It had also ordered a national survey to gauge the extent of the menace.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked the Ministry of Women and Child Development to file a compliance report within four months.

The Centre had sought four months time for conducting a national survey on the issue of drug abuse and rehabilitation among the children.

The NGO has alleged that the Centre has failed to comply with the judgement which was delivered way back in December 2016.

The apex court had in 2016 also asked the governments at the Centre and in the states to create awareness about the serious consequences of the drug abuse and include in the school curriculum the subject on harmful effects of drugs.

The national capital alone has approximately one lakh street children and substance abuse is reported as a major health problem in this segment of the population, the PIL had said.

A study by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights on substance abuse by kids showed last year that 100 per cent of the children in conflict with the law were drug abusers, 95.5 per cent of them staying in childcare institutions were on drugs and 93 per cent of street children consumed narcotics.

The study also said 88 per cent of the children consumed drugs due to “peer pressure”, the NGO had said.

The PIL, filed in 2014, had sought a direction to formulate a national action plan for children on drugs and substance abuse including all issues of identification, investigation, recovery, counselling and rehabilitation.

It had also sought creation of model syllabus on ill-effects of drugs and substance abuse.

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