Introduction to Narcotic drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985


It provides the provisions for control over the drugs of abuse and prescribes penalties for illicit traffic of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

This Act replaces the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930, the Opium Act, 1957 and 1978. Under this Act :

  • Narcotic Drugs means coc (coca leaf), opium and cannabis as well as their derivatives.
  • Psychotropic substances mean any substances either natural or synthetic included in the list of psychotropic substances specified in the schedule (76 drugs and their derivatives), e.g. amphetamine, diazepam, LSG etc.

Provisions for punishment

  • Any person produces, possesses, sells, purchases, transports or uses, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment from the term ten years or above (may upto 20 years) and with fine of rupees one lakh (may upto two lakh).
  • Any person carrying small quantity (heroin-250 mg, cocaine-125 mg, opium/charas - 5 g) : Simple imprisonment upto one year or with fine or both.
  • For 'ganja' , simple imprisonment upto 6 months (less than 500 g); rigorous imprisonment for five years and or fine of rupees fifty thousand for larger amount.

The Poison Act, 1919

The Act to regulate launching, licensing, importation, possession and sale of poisons in India. It also empowers the state governments to make state rules regulating these matters in their states.

The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940

  • It was initially introduced as the Drugs Act, 1940 to governs the importation, manufacture, distribution and sale of Drugs.
  • Amended in 1955 to include insecticides, disinfectants and contraceptives.
  • Amended inn 1962 to include cosmetics, and subsequently repealed as the Drugs and Cosmetics act, 1940.
  • Amended in 1964 to include Ayurveda and Unani drugs within its preview.

Under this Act, cosmetics mean any article (except soap) intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, sprayed, anointed or applied otherwise for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering the appearance of any part of the human body.

It also lays down the provision that every patented or proprietary medicines must display a label on the container mentioning the exact formula or the list of ingredients used.

The Act provides stringent punishment against drug adulteration or any offences committed thereon.

Drugs and Cosmetic Rules Act, 1945

This is a derivative of Drugs and Cosmetic Act 1940 and it covers all kinds of drugs - allopathic, ayurvedic, homeopathic, unani and siddha preparations. The main aim is to control quality, purity and strength of these drugs. Specific regulations have been laid down for the storage, display, sale, dispensing, labelling etc of drugs by classifying them into various schedules as follows :

Schedule C - Biological products such as serum, vaccines etc.

Schedule E - poisonous substances described in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani Systems.

Schedule G - Antihistamines, hormonal preparations and anticancer drugs.

Schedule H - These are the drugs that need to be labelled as Schedule H drug warning - 'to be sold by retail on the prescription of registered Mediacl practitioner only' . These include barbiturates, amphetamines, ergot, reserpine etc.

Schedule J - Drugs which should not be advertised. These include drugs claimed to be cure of cancer, appendicitis, blindness, cataract epilepsy, hydrocele etc.

Schedule L - List of prescription drugs (which also include drugs under schedule H)

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