Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

What rules govern Disposal of Seized Narcotics?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Disposal of Seized Narcotics

Mains level: Not Much

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has destroyed 30,000 kg of seized drugs at four locations – Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi and Guwahati — in the virtual presence of Union Home Minister.

Destruction of Seized Narcotic Drugs

  • Section 52-A of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 allows probe agencies to destroy seized substances after collecting required samples.
  • Officials concerned must make a detailed inventory of the substance to be destroyed.
  • A five-member committee comprising the area SSP, director/superintendent or the representative of the area NCB, a local magistrate and two others linked to law enforcement and legal fraternity is constituted.
  • The substance is then destroyed in an incinerator or burnt completely leaving behind not any trace of the substance.

Exact procedure that is followed

  • The agency first obtains permission from a local court to dispose of the seized narcotic substances.
  • These substances are then taken to the designated place of destruction under a strict vigil.
  • The presiding officer tallies the inventory made at the storeroom with that material brought to the spot.
  • The entire process is videographed and photographed.
  • Then one by one, all the packets/gunny bags of the substance/s are put in the incinerator.
  • As per rules, committee members cannot leave the place until the seized drugs have been completely destroyed.

Which agency is authorized to carry out such an exercise?

  • Every law enforcement agency competent to seize drugs is authorized to destroy them after taking prior permission of the area magistrate.
  • These include state police forces, the CBI and the NCB among others.

Why destroy seized drugs?

  • The hazardous nature of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, their vulnerability to theft, substitution, and constraints of proper storage space are among the reasons that make agencies destroy them.
  • There have been instances when seized narcotics were pilfered from the storeroom.
  • To prevent such instances, authorities try to destroy seized drugs immediately after collecting the required samples out of the seized substances.


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