NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill to rectify errors that had crept into the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Act with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserting that the retrospective provision made in the bill was not “substantive” in nature, as claimed by the opposition.
The NDPS (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed by a voice vote and some amendments moved by opposition members were rejected by the House.
Responding to concerns raised by members that the provision for implementing the law with retrospective effect was in violation of Article 20 (1) of the Constitution, Sitharaman said according to the opinion of the Solicitor General, the amendment could be permitted as it was not substantive, but clarificatory in nature.
She said the retrospective amendment was allowed as the government did not want to create a new law but only correct a mistake.
“Amendments with retrospective effect to substantive part of criminal law is not permitted, but clarificatory amendment that seeks to remove an obvious mistake is permitted,” the minister said referring to the opinion of the Solicitor General.
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