Narcotics Control Bureau a Narcotics Law Enforcement Body of India

Rampant drug abuse is a threat to both individuals and society as a whole.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is the top agency enacted to combat drug trafficking and save the lives of people addicted to drugs. The NCB aims to control illegal drug trafficking.

Article 47 of The Indian Constitution is a directive principle of state policy in which states can consider things while making policies. The article helps to run an administration.

The article is a fundamental principle, and a state has to implement these principles while making laws. Article 47 has provisions for the standard of living, public health, and prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs.

Because of this directive principle of state policy, the state has to prohibit the consumption of intoxicating drugs harmful to health except for medicinal drugs.

India is a member of the following treaties of the United Nations related to the prohibition of intoxication of drugs:

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)

The Narcotics Control Bureau is an organisation to fight drug trafficking and consumption of illegal drugs under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

NCB is an organisation or intelligence agency constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

The NCB is a top agency for the enforcement of trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs, which closely coordinates with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Customs, State Police, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB), and other law enforcement agencies.

They collect data, analyse them, closely coordinate, and conduct operations to control the trafficking and consumption of illegal drugs.

Formation of NCB

Article 47 of The Constitution of India directs all the states to prohibit consumption and trafficking of intoxicating drugs, which can be injurious to one’s health.

The national policy for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances was formed and content based on the following three acts:

The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985

The Government of India made a bureau under Section 4(3) of the act for narcotics control and named it as National Bureau of Narcotics on 17 March 1986.

The act came into effect on 14 November 1985. The act expresses the provision to make an authority under the Central Government to fulfil its all purposes.

The primary purpose of making authority is to exercise the power and functions of the above act.

Objectives of NCB

The objective of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is to fight illegal trafficking and consumption of narcotics using intelligence and enforcement using police, drug-use-mitigation strategies, and mechanisms and other agencies empowered under the act to have a drug-free society.

Role and Functions Performed by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)

Let us understand the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and its role and functions in society.

  • The NCB can perform all functions and exercise its power mentioned in The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1958, under the supervision of the Central Government.
  • NCB works with the coordination of the Central Bureau of Investigation, State Police, Custom Exercise Board, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, and other law enforcement agencies working at state and national levels.
  • Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officers choose from Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Paramilitary Forces and are directly recruited.
  • NCB acts and takes measures under Customs Act, NDPS Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, and other drugs law enforcement Acts.
  • NCB also assists at the international level with different authorities and intelligence to prevent illicit trafficking.

Significant Achievements of NCB

Since its formation, NCB, has performed many operations and raids against narcotics. Some of the outstanding achievements of NCB are as follows:

India’s First ‘Darknet’ Narcotics

NCB held India’s first darknet narcotics, which shipped hundreds of psychotropic drugs to foreign countries as sex stimulation medicines.

In a sensational case, the son of a retired army officer, 21-year-old Deepu Singh, a resident of Lucknow, used the darknet for trafficking psychotropic drugs abroad. In a short time, he became a big player on the darknet. He began shipping medicine for erectile dysfunction and other supplements using the darknet and subsequently started shipping psychotropic drugs because of the large profit margin.

The Central Anti-Narcotics Agency arrested him under the NDPS Act.

NCB seized more than 12,000 various tablets of psychotropic drugs from his residence. In a two-month-long operation, 55,000 psychotropic drugs were seized, including zolpidem, tramadol, and alprazolam, which were shipped to countries such as the U.K, U.S, Spain, Romania, Singapore, and other European countries.

The payment was received in cryptocurrencies forms like bitcoin and litecoin. Therefore, the transaction cannot be tracked.

The darknet became a platform for selling and purchasing illegal drugs, pornographic substances, and other illicit material. Darknet is a deeply hidden internet platform and cannot be cracked easily by law enforcement agencies because of its end-to-end encryption.

Countries Biggest Drug Haul

On May 11, 2019, the NCB recovered 1,818 Kg. of pseudoephedrine and 2 kg cocaine worth around Rs. 1000 Cr. from the house of an IPS officer. This seizure is the country’s biggest drug haul. Two Nigerian nationals living in the house on rent were using it as a drug manufacturing unit.

The zonal director of NCB, Madhav Singh, said: ‘the seizure is India’s biggest-ever narcotics haul and the world’s largest pseudoephedrine seizure in the past three years’.

Narcos Syndicates of India

According to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) analysis, there is a multi-billion dollar trade of drugs linked to Canada, Western Europe, Australia, Africa, South America, and countries in West Asia.

According to the data by NCB, 142 operational drug syndicates are operational in the country producing heroin worth Rs. 140000 Cr. The country has 20 lakh heroin addicts. According to NCB, 360,000 kg of heroin and 36,000 kg of quality heroin, which is the purest form of heroin, is smuggled in various states of India. Nearly 2 lakh consumers of India consume 1000 kg of heroin every day. NCB closely monitors syndicates operating from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa and some parts of Haryana and Rajasthan.

Punjab became the headquarters of consuming and trafficking drugs in India. Since last year, around 74000 persons have been arrested under the NDPS Act in India, of which 15000 were from Punjab.

According to the AIIMS National Drugs Dependence Treatment Centre, approximately 2.06% of India’s population uses opioids, and 0.55% needs help to deal with addiction.

Is NCB a threat to Bollywood

Bollywood and drugs seem to have a nexus. Bollywood actors always remain on the radar of drug law enforcement agencies.

Actor Sanjay Dutt was arrested in 1982 in a drug case and jailed for 5 months for illegal substances. He admitted that he had been a drug addict for 9 years.

Actor Fardeen Khan was arrested by NCB under the NDPS Act in a drug case in 2001 for buying cocaine and subsequently released after a de-addiction stint.

After the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, a series of events happened in Bollywood. Actress Rhea Chakraborty, Preeti Chauhan, and comedian Bharti Singh with her husband Harsh Limbachiya were arrested by NCB.

In the raid of NCB at the house of Bharti Singh, 86.5 gm weed was seized by NCB. Bharti Singh and Harsh Limbachiya accepted the accusation of weed consumption and were arrested by NCB under NDPS Act, 1986.

NCB also questioned Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh, and Shradha Kapoor in a drug case.

Actor Arjun Rampal and many other actors were placed under surveillance by NCB.

Cruise Ship Drug Case

In a high-profile cruise ship drug case, NCB seized 13 grams of cocaine, 21 grams of charas, 5 grams of MD and 22 pills of Ecstacy, and other drugs worth Rs. 1.33 lakhs. The case had a clear Bollywood nexus.

A total of 17 persons were arrested in a cruise ship drug case. NCB also arrested a drug peddler from Suburban Powai.


Drugs ruin the lives of millions all over the world. Drugs are the most hazardous substance for a person’s health and the future of upcoming generations. Even after enactment of strict laws and so many law enforcement agencies, the fight against drugs in India has become highly challenging.

Drugs demand and supply are increasing daily, which shows that consumers of illicit substances are increasing daily. We have to show the consequences of consuming drugs to help people stay away from it and how drugs affect a person’s mentally, physically, socially, and economically.

People addicted to drugs face hate from everyone, which is very common, but we have to understand that they may be helpless and need our help to get out from their addiction.

The practice and functioning adopted by drug law enforcement agencies, such as NCB, aim for better results and introducing new reforms.

FAQs Regarding Narcotics Control Bureau

What is the punishment for consuming drugs in India?

According to Section 27 of the NDPS Act, a punishment for consuming drugs is rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years and liable to a fine which may extend up to 1 lakh.

Is ‘Bhang’ legal in India?

Bhang is not covered under NDPS Act because it covers only the preparation of cannabis, and it does not contain the flowering part of ganja.

What are the main functions of NCB?

The primary function of NCB is to stop trafficking and consumption of illicit substances under the provisions of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act.

What is a psychotropic substance?

Illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and LSD are psychotropic substances, including alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, and caffeine.

Can a person get bail under a drugs case?

An offence committed under NDPS Act, 1985 is a non-bailable offence.

Are all drugs addictive?

Each drug is unique and reacts with brain cells differently. When a person uses drugs, the brain cell releases dopamine which gives a feeling of being ‘high’.

How to help a person suffering from drug addiction?

A person can consult with doctors and counsellors; rehabilitation centres may also help a person quit drugs.

Criminal Law