AC approves creation of Special Courts for NDPS Act trials

Special Courts for NDPS Act Trials

JAMMU — The Administrative Council (AC) under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has sanctioned the establishment of five Special Courts, along with necessary infrastructure and staffing, for the trial of offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

In a meeting attended by prominent officials including Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, and Atal Dulloo, Chief Secretary, the AC ratified the creation of these courts, with one each designated for the districts of Anantnag, Baramulla, Jammu, Pulwama, and Srinagar.

The decision comes in response to directives from the High Court, following cases titled Thana Singh vs Central Bureau of Narcotics and Arshad Ahmad Allaie vs UT of J&K, which emphasized the need for dedicated courts to address the rising number of NDPS-related cases.

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According to recommendations by the Committee of Judges of J&K High Court, Special Courts are deemed necessary in districts where the backlog of NDPS cases exceeds 500. This initiative, approved by the Chief Justice, is expected to have an annual financial implication of Rs. 4.65 Crore for the Union Territory.

Additionally, the AC endorsed the filling of remaining vacancies in paramedical institutions after centralized counselling by the Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE). The decision also includes the allocation of leftover seats for admission to various nursing and paramedical courses in government and private institutions based on merit, in line with government-defined eligibility criteria and Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs).

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The move comes following representations from institutions regarding the high number of unfilled seats despite admissions facilitated by BOPEE. The decision to allow institutions to fill these vacancies independently was made after studying models implemented in other states, including Punjab.

The Health and Medical Education Department, in collaboration with relevant authorities, has been tasked with formulating the necessary SoPs to facilitate this process effectively.

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