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Drug Addiction vis-a-vis Defense of Insanity in India:A Comparative Study
Drug addiction and its relation with mental illness and criminal behaviour has become a universal truth. The countries, who are facing this controversy at a grand level have already taken multiple steps to ensure that this controversy does not spread otherwise it will become uncontrollable issue for both the Government and society at large. Defence of insanity is an immunity given to the criminal who had acted out of mental disorder and had not otherwise committed the offence he has charged with. Similarly the prolonged drug abuse has the same effect on the mental wellbeing of the addict that he become deprived of mental and physical control or assessment of his/ her actions. Since drug addiction has become a deep wound in the heart of India and daily there is news of drug overdose deaths and criminal behaviour due to drug dependence, it has become important to completely shift the approach of the government and judiciary while prosecuting/ convicting such offenders as they are not in their right mind or body to differentiate between right and wrong. This research paper explore the relation between drug addiction and mental illness in terms of allowing the defence of insanity to drug related offenders. This research paper will also throw light upon the present anti-drug legislation in India and the approach of International fraternities to tackle the menace of drug abuse in an effective manner.
Drug Addiction, Defence of Insanity, Indian Penal Code, United Nations, Mental Health and Rights.
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- (2) If the case is one in which, in the opinion of the Magistrate or Court, bail should not be taken, or if sufficient security is not given, the Magistrate or Court, as the case may be, shall order the accused to be detained in safe custody in such place and manner as he or it may think fit, and shall report the action taken to the State Government: Provided that no order for the detention of the accused in a lunatic asylum shall be made otherwise than in accordance with such rules as the State Government may have made under the Indian Lunacy Act, 1912 (4 of 1912 ). Section 335 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 335. Person acquitted on such ground to be detained in safe custody.
- (1) Whenever the finding states that the accused person com- mitted the act alleged, the Magistrate or Court before whom or which the trial has been held, shall, if such act would, but for the incapacity found, have constituted an offence,
- (a) order such person to be detained in safe custody in such place and manner as the Magistrate or Court thinks fit; or
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- The international drug control bodies have asserted on numerous occasions that complete alternatives to conviction and punishment can be applied for offences involving the possession, purchase or cultivation of illicit drugs for the offender’s personal use. See United Nations, Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 2007, E/INCB/2007/1, para. 18 and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem, March 2009, section 6, para. 16(a), p. 23 (adopted by the High Level Segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and later adopted by the UN General Assembly’s Resolution 64/182 of 18 December 2009). See also United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, From Coercion to Cohesion: Treating Drug Dependence through Health Care, not Punishment (2010), p. 1:
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- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Health Organization and UNAIDS, HIV and AIDS in Places of Detention: A Toolkit for Policymakers, Programme Managers, Prison Officers and Health Care Providers in Prison Settings (New York: UN, 2008), p. 7.
- Ibid, p. 10. 208 Judging the epidemic
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and World Health Organization, Principles of Drug Dependence Treatment (2008), p. 14; Costa AM, Preface to the UNODC World Drug Report (2009), p. 2; and The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (England), Breaking the Link: The Role of Drug Treatment in Tackling Crime (2009), p. 4.
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Handbook of Basic Principles and Promising Practices on Alternatives to Imprisonment (2007), p. 63.
- Diversion programmes exist in different formats, such as arrest referral schemes (Russia and Scotland), drug intervention programmes (England and Wales), and drug treatment courts (U.S.A., Canada and Australia). A central component of diversion programmes is collaboration between the criminal justice system and medical services. Portugal provides a notable example, in that pre-trial diversion is promoted by a national policy and has had significant benefits in terms of public health and human rights with no escalation in crime. (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Drug Policy Profiles: Portugal ).
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