he Kerala High Court in, suo motu proceedings, has directed the state government to adopt a method of establishing Campus Police Units, since law enforcement agencies have not been conducting regular checks on drug use inside educational institutions.
This measure, the High Court said, would make it easier for the police and excise personnel to enforce the Narcotic Drugs and. Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in educational institutions.
The NDPS provides stringent provisions for the control and regulation of operations relating to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
The high court also directed the state police chief to seek the services of student police cadets, NCC, NSS and other similar organisations to create awareness among students of the legal repercussions of the use and trafficking of drugs, and the health and career hazards caused due to drug use.
The court also asked the government to introduce a special scheme to ensure that the premises of the educational institutions and universities were drug-free.
It directed to establish counselling and rehabilitation mechanisms, to save the students who are already using drugs and addicts, and for that purpose, the co-operation of University authorities, affected students, and their parents be elicited.
These directions came to be passed by a division bench of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice A. M. Shaffique, after taking suo motu cognisance of a letter submitted by retired IPS officer N. Ramachandran highlighting various aspects of drug abuse in Kerala.
The letter, the judgment mentioned, had thrown light on the increasing rates of crimes committed by the youth under the influence of drugs and the alarming growth in its use by students. The letter emphasised the need for proper utilisation of funds provided by the Central, as well as state governments for tackling drug abuse.
A report filed by the State Special Branch, regarding drug abuse in educational institutions, revealed there was a significant increase in the number of drug abuse cases, so much so that it had become a serious problem in the educational institutions.
“On enquiry, it came to understand that around 400 institutions in the State are affected by drug abuse and out of the education institutions, 74.12% are schools, 20.89% are colleges and professional institutions, and 4.97% are other institutions viz., ITI, Polytechnics etc”, the court highlighted.
The report also revealed that a range of drugs from ganja, hashish to synthetic drugs were being used by the student community. A majority of cases registered related to the possession and sale of ganja.
The court observed the scale of drug usage in Kerala was unacceptably high and was a significant driver of economic underperformance, crime, risk to children and health inequalities.
Read the Judgement