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Delisting of Controlled Substances

  • 29 Apr 2019
  • 4 min read

In a bid to curb trade of narcotics and other controlled substances on online portals, the government has reached out to the industry, especially business-to-business (B2B) portals, to ensure their delisting from such platforms.

  • The Government has shared a list of about 400 items including narcotics and psychotropic substances with business-to-business (B2B) portals.
  • The industry outreach follows a probe against online B2B marketplace IndiaMART, which was investigated by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in September 2018 for listing acetic anhydride, a precursor for heroin.

Narcotics Control Bureau

  • The Narcotics Control Bureau was constituted by the Government of India in 1986 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
  • The act made an express provision for constituting a Central Authority for the purpose of exercising the powers and functions of the Central Government under the Act.
  • The National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is based on Article 47 of the Indian Constitution which directs the State to endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drugs injurious to health.
  • The drug abuse control is the responsibility of central government.
  • Following this, the portals have taken measures to ensure delisting of such controlled substances on their platform.
  • Earlier in January 2019, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) held a workshop in Bangkok to create more awareness among the industry.
    • The INCB Report 2018 had highlighted the growing evidence of an emerging modus operandi of drug trafficking in the region that involves the use of the Internet as a marketplace for drugs and precursors, with mail or courier services being used for delivery.
    • It had also pointed to India being the transit country for illicitly produced opiates, in particular heroin, which originate in Afghanistan and are trafficked through the country via Pakistan en route to Europe and North America (mainly Canada)

International Narcotics Control Board

  • The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is the independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations international drug control conventions.
  • It was established in 1968 in accordance with the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961.
  • It was established by merging two bodies: the Permanent Central Narcotics Board, and the Drug Supervisory Body.
  • The functions of INCB are laid down in the following treaties:
    • the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961,
    • the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971,and
    • the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.
  • India is a signatory to all the above three mentioned treaties.
  • INCB has 13 members (10 of the members are elected from a list of persons nominated by Governments, and remaining 3 members are elected from a list of persons nominated by the World Health Organization for their medical, pharmacological or pharmaceutical experience), each elected by the Economic and Social Council for a period of five years.
  • INCB members may be re-elected.
  • It’s secretariat is located in Vienna, Austria.
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