• Actor Rhea Chakraborty and nine others so far have been booked under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
  • The NDPS Act, enacted in the country in 1985, is the primary legislation for dealing with drugs and their trafficking.
  • It was passed as India had to fulfil obligations as a signatory of various international conventions on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to prevent its use and illicit trafficking.
  • It has various provisions to punish manufacturing, sale, possession, consumption, use, transport of banned drugs.
  • Punishment under the Act can vary based upon the sections the accused is charged.
  • The Act has provisions for the court to grant immunity from prosecution to an addict involved in a small quantity of drugs after they voluntarily seek to undergo medical treatment for deaddiction under section 64A.
  • The Act also has the maximum punishment of the death penalty under section 31A for certain offences involving commercial quantities of a drug if the accused has been convicted before as well.
  • The central government can add or omit from the list of psychotropic substances.
  • For instance, in 2015, the central government classified mephedrone – also called as meth or meow meow – as a psychotropic substance in the Act after its popularity grew among the youth and experts warned of its grave health consequences.