New Delhi: Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Tuesday stressed that there is a need to make the film industry "drug-free" but said drug addicts must not be put in jail and there must be a change in this law.
Possession of drugs is a criminal offence in India and Section 27 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act prescribes imprisonment of up to a year or a fine of up to Rs 20,000, or both, for consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance. Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan was recently arrested under this section.
Speaking to reporters, the Union minister of state for social justice there is a provision to put drug addicts behind bars but not alcoholics.
"Our ministry says that we should try to make a drug addict drug mukt. That is why we have come out with a circular that people should not take drugs but if one does take drugs then putting them in jail is not right and there must be a change in this law," he said.
Currently, the law says that there must be a compulsory jail term for these people whatever quantity it is in.
"So action is taken against both the drug addict and drug smuggler. The NCB has taken action against many since actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death. There is a need to change the atmosphere of the film industry and there is a need to make drug mukt film industry and most drugs are sold in film industry and artists get addicted so there is a need for action against them too," he said.
The social justice and empowerment ministry had recently suggested decriminalising possession of small quantities of drugs for personal consumption in its recommendations submitted to the Revenue Department over review of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The ministry suggested that the compulsory treatment in government centres must be given to those caught with small quantities for personal consumption instead of a jail term, an official said.
Aryan Khan was arrested in a case of alleged seizure of narcotic drugs from a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast earlier this month.
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