14th December, 2016
The Supreme Court today asked the Central Government to curb the rising menace of drug, alcohol abuse amongst children and to formulate a national action plan for combating its destructive impact on children while hearing a petition by Bachpan Bachao Andolan.The petitioned stated that due to inaction and non-compliance of the government’s action plan for reduction in drug demand and supply, the fundamental rights of children across the county are being violated.
With a prayer to create a holistic and robust solution to this problem, Bachpan Bachao Andolan demanded that-
(1) The formulation of a national action plan for children on drug and substance abuse, including all issues of identification, investigation, recovery, counselling and rehabilitation.
(2) Creation of module on ill effects of drug and substance abuse, to be taught compulsorily in schools.
(3) Creation of de-addiction centres in each district, with a special wing for children, including special care in homes under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015.
(4) Creation of standard operating procedures to deter crime in schools, child care institutions and police personnel on enforcement, especially under provisions 77 and 78 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and
(5) Protection of Children) Act 2015, pertaining to use of children for drug trafficking and causing children to consume drugs and substance abuse.
(6) Implementation of national action place to the national police on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, in a time-bound manner, including conducting a national survey on extent, trends and patterns of drug abuse, especially by children and youth.
In response to these demands and accepting all of its prayers, the bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud passed a landmark judgment directing the government to “ Formulate a national policy on drug and substance abuse will be active and enacted within six months, a national action plan for drug abuse of children within four months, de-addiction centres will be created in every district within six months and a national survey would be conducted and a national database on drug and substance abuse in the country would be created.”
Senior Advocate H.S. Phoolka, who appeared in this case on behalf of Bachpan Bachao Andolan commented that, “The menace of drug abuse and trafficking among children in the country is worrisome. This petition was filed to ensure that the Government of India takes proactive steps to curb it and to extend protection to children who are vulnerable. This crucial judgment will ensure that children are provided with a better, more healthy childhood.”
Shri Kailash Satyarthi, Founder BBA, responded to this judgment saying that, “Trafficking and drug abuse, inherently linked to each other, are the most prevalent forms of organised crime in the world that violate the fundamental rights of our children. I welcome this landmark judgment by the Hon’ble Court, and believe that it will go a long way in building a safer environment for our children. It is also a timely judgment, especially in the midst of Government of India’s crackdown on black money.