Narcotics Control (Amendment) Bill 2020 passed

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SANGSAD BHABAN, Nov 19, 2020 (BSS) – The Jatiya Sangsad today
passed the Narcotics Control (Amendment) Bill 2020 aiming to quick
disposal of narcotics related crimes.

Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haq on behalf of Home
Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Khan moved the bill in the House which
was unanimously passed by voice votes with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin
Chaudhury in the chair.

While placing the bill, the liberation war affairs minister said if
the proposed law is to be enacted then abuse of narcotics could be
controlled easily.

After the independence, he said, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
had enacted law to curb unbridled use of the narcotics. Subsequently,
after the assassination of Bangabandhu, the then governments didn’t
take strict initiatives to control the brisk business of the
narcotics, he added.

But the present government, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,
enacted narcotics control act-2018, the minister told the parliament.

The ‘Narcotics Control (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ was placed in
Parliament on November 8 this year dropping the provision of setting
up separate Narcotics Control Tribunals to pave the way for competent
courts to try narcotic-related crimes.

The bill was brought to have a provision of holding trial of
narcotic-related cases in the courts having the jurisdiction for quick
disposal of such cases and easing the backlog of huge drug-related
cases.

It was supposed to form necessary number of Narcotics Control
Tribunals in line with article 44 of the existing Narcotics Control
Act 2018.

But the Law and Justice Division has not set up any Narcotics
Control Tribunal yet or entrusted the tribunal’s responsibility with
any additional district judge or sessions judge for administrative
reasons.

So, complexities have been created in disposal of cases filed under
the Narcotics Control Act 2018 since it has become effective, and the
number of pending cases filed under this Act keeps growing day by day.

As per article 44 of the Bill, the courts, having jurisdiction, can
try the narcotic-related cases as per the gravity of crimes as well as
a sessions judge concerned or a metropolitan sessions judge concerned
can fix one or more than one courts that have the jurisdiction to try
narcotic-related crimes in their respective areas.

In the bill, changes have been brought in 22 articles of the exiting act.