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The use of opium for medicinal purposes in India can be traced back as far back as 1000 AD where it finds mention in ancient texts such as “Dhanwantri Nighantu” as a remedy for variety of ailments. .  In Emperor Akbar time (1543 to 1605) opium was cultivated extensively in the Malwa (in MP) and Mewar (in Rajasthan) regions.  The opium poppy contains alkaloids such as morphine, codeine, thebaine, narcotine, papavarine which have analgesic, anti-tussive and anti-spasmodic properties.

During the British East India Company Rule, collection of revenue from opium was made part of fiscal policy and various Opium Agencies such as the Bengal, Benaras, Bihar, Malwa Agencies were formed over time.  Prior to 1950,  the administration of the Narcotics Laws, namely, the Opium Act of 1857 & 1878 and the Dangerous Drugs Act 1930 vested with the Provincial Government.  The amalgamation of these Agencies laid the foundation of the Opium Department in November, 1950 which is presently known as Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN). The headquarters of Central Bureau of Narcotics was shifted from Shimla to Gwalior in 1960.

 

All the three enactments mentioned above were repealed by the Narcotics Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act, 1985).

The responsibilities of CBN cover:

  • Supervision over licit cultivation of opium poppy In India spread across 22 Districts 102 Tehsils/ Parganas in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Preventive and enforcement functions especially in the three poppy growing States.
  • Investigation of cases under the NDPS Act, 1985 and filing of complaint in the Court.
  • Action for tracing and freezing of illegally acquired property as per the provisions of Chapter V-A of the NDPS Act, 1985.
  • Issue of licences for manufacture of synthetic narcotic drugs
  • Issuance of Export Authorisations/ Import Certificate for export/ import of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
  • Issuance of No Objection Certificate (NOC) for import/ export of a select number of Precursor Chemicals
  • Import of Poppy Seeds are permitted only from Australia, Austria, France, China, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain Turkey and Czech Republic on production of an appropriate certificate from the Competent Authority of the exporting country that the opium have been grown licitly/ legally in that country. All import contracts for this item shall compulsory be registered with the Narcotics Commissioner, Gwalior prior to import.
  • India is a signatory to the UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971 & UN Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988 which obligates member countries to monitor the implementation of the United Nations drug control conventions.  CBN interacts with the International Narcotics Control Board, Vienna and the Competent Authorities of other countries to verify genuiness of the transaction prior to authorizing the shipments.
 

 

Narcotics Commissioners

S.No:

Name
S/Shri
From

To

1.
A.C.Whitcher
Nov. '1950
29-05-1952
2.
S.C. Mathur
30-05-1952
01-07-1955
3.
S.P. Kampani
01-07-1955
18-07-1957
4.
Tilak Raj
18-07-1957
06-09-1961
5.
D.N. Kohli
06-09-1961
28-05-1966
6.
B.S. Chawla
28-05-1966
21-02-1973
7.
V.R. Sonalkar
21-02-1973
31-07-1974
8.
B.S. Chawla
31-07-1974
15-08-1974
9.
A.Shankar
16-08-1974
31-03-1977
10.
M.L.Wadhawan
01-09-1977
02-09-1979
11.
M.M.Bhatnagar
03-09-1979
14-06-1985
12.
M.C.Sharma
14-06-1985
10-12-1985
13.
A.M.Prasad
10-12-1985
30-04-1987
14.
D.Chakraborty
23-06-1987
02-07-1991
15.
Kailash Sethi
03-07-1991
22-07-1996
16.
R.Bhattacharji
23-07-1996
31-12-2001(A/N)

17.

Harsh Vardhan Chauhan

31-12-2001(A/N)

 

03-05-2006

 

18.

 

Ms. Jagjit Pavadia

 

11-5-2006

 

30-03-2012

 

19.

 

Vinay Chhabra

 

30-03-2012

 

18-06-2012

 

20.

 

Vijay Kalsi

 

19-06-2012

 

Till Date

 

       

 

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