Indian Law related to Poisons and Drugs

Several legislative acts have been enacted in India to govern and restrict the production, sale, distribution, and possession of medicines and poisons.

The following are some important Indian laws concerning medicines and poison:

• The Poison Act, 1919
• The Drugs Act,1940
• The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
• The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945
• The Pharmacy Act, 1948
• The Drugs Control Act, 1950
• The Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, 1954
• The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985
• The Indian Penal Code (IPC),1860
• The Criminal Procedural Code (CrPC),1973
• The Indian Evidence Act (IEA),1872

The Poison Act (1919)

This was amended in 1958 and then abolished in 1960. It governs the issuance of permits and the selling of poisons. It also governs the importation of any designated toxins.

The Drugs and Cosmetics Act (1940)

This Act was modified in 1964 to cover Ayurvedic and Unani medicines, and it controls pharmaceuticals for purifying (excluding soap), beautifying, enhancing attractiveness, or transforming looks. It was recently updated in 2008, and it is now referred as the Drugs and Cosmetics Amendment Act (2008). It monitors the quality, purity, and potency of medicines to ensure their safety. It governs the import, manufacturing, distribution, and sale of these medications. The revised statute increased the severity of penalties for a variety of offences, including the selling of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, the adulteration of drugs and cosmetics, hazardous pollution, and so on.

The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (1945)

This is a derivative of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940, and it applies to all types of drugs used in treatments, including allopathic, Ayurvedic, Unani, and Siddha preparations. The rule is primarily concerned with the standard and quality of medications. It also regulates pharmaceuticals through particular regulations governing their storage, display, sale, dispensing, labelling, prescription, and so on.

The Pharmacy Act (1948)

This act’s objective is to encourage only certified pharmacists to compound, manufacture, mix, or administer any drug on a qualified medical practitioner’s prescription.

The Drugs Control Act (1950)

This Legislation provides the supply and distribution of pharmaceuticals, as well as advising manufacturers and dealers on how to set the maximum price for each drug.

The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act, 1954

The goal of this act is to assure that manufacturers adhere to ethical norms when advertising medications. This law prohibits offensive ads for mystical cures for ailments including venereal disease, impotency, menstrual disorders, infertility, abortion, misunderstanding, and insanity, among others. This Act allows for the prohibition of advertisements that violate decency or morals.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act, 1985

The NDPS Act was enacted to consolidate and reform the legislation pertaining to narcotic drugs, as well as to provide strict measures for the control and regulation of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances activities. The legislation makes it illegal to produce, manufacture, cultivate, own, sell, transfer, purchase, or consume any Narcotic Drugs or Psychotropic Substances.

Read More: Small Quantity And Commercial Quantity and Punishment in NDPS Act, 1985

Drugs (Price Control) Order, 1995

The Government of India enacted this act to regulate and oversee the manufacturing and price of first-schedule drugs. It has the authority to set the maximum selling prices of bulk pharmaceuticals in the first schedule, as well as the information that producers must provide in regard to scheduled and non-scheduled bulk drugs. It also has the authority to set the retail price of scheduled formulations. For inspection purposes, manufactures should keep a proper record of medications and manufacturing.

The Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860

• Section 176: Doctors must report all cases of homicidal poisoning to police, if not they are punishable

• Section 177 : For furnishing false information

• Section 193 : Doctor is punishable for giving false information about poisoning case

• Section 201: Causing disappearance of evidence of offence

• Section202: Doctor is punishable for intentional concealing of facts about poisoning case treated by him.

• Section 272: Adulteration of food or drink intended for sale

• Section 273: Sale of noxious food or drink

• Section 274: Adulteration of drugs

• Section 275: Sale of adulterated drugs

• Section 276: Sale of drugs as a different drug or preparations

• Section 284: Lays down penalty for any person causing harm by rash and negligent handling of a poisonous substance so as to endanger human life or to be likely to cause hurt injury to any person.

• Section 299: Culpable homicide including that caused through administration of some poisonous substance.

• Section 300, 302,306,307,309: Murder including that caused through administration of poisonous substances with the intention of causing death.

• Section 304A: Rash and negligent act including that caused through poisoning

• Section 320: Causing grievous hurt

• Section 324: Causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means (including Poison or any corrosive substance)

• Section 326: Causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means (including poison)

• Section 326 A: Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid(vitriolage )

• Section 326 B: Voluntarily throwing or attempting to throw acid.

• Section 328: Causing hurt by means of poison or stupefying intoxicating or unwholesome drug or other thing with the intent to commit an offence.

The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973

Section 39: Every person aware of the commission of, or of the intention of any other person to commit any offence punishable under IPC shall forthwith give information to the nearest magistrate or police officer of such commission or intention.

Section 40: Every employed officers aware of the commission of, or of the intention of any other person to commit any offence punishable under IPC shall forthwith give information to the nearest magistrate or police officer of such commission or intention.

Section 175: Power to summon persons by police officer proceeding under section 174

The Indian Evidence Act (IEA), 1872

Section 32, Clause 1, under the Indian Evidence Act (IEA) allows a doctor to record dying declaration when the death of the patient is imminent and arrival of magistrate is delayed.

References:
  • The Poison Act ,1919
  • The Drugs Act, 1940
  • The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
  • The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945
  • The Pharmacy Act, 1948
  • The Drugs Control Act, 1950
  • The Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, 1954
  • The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985
  • The Indian Penal Code (IPC),1860
  • The Criminal Procedural Code (CrPC),1973
  • The Indian Evidence Act (IEA),1872