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Opium Act, 1878 Complete Act - Bare Act

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OPIUM ACT, 1878


OPIUM ACT, 1878


STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS "The prevent Bill has the following objects: First to enable the Governor-General in council to bring the Opium Act, 1878, into force in such local areas and at such respective dates as he thinks fit; secondly, to remove the doubts as to whether sections 4 and of that Act admitted of the free export and import of opium, when thought desirable; thirdly, to permit and regulate, by rules framed under that Act section 8, the form of opium duties and to facilitate the recovery of their dues by farmers; lastly, to correct a clerical error in section 22 of the same Act" -Gazette of India. 1877, Part V, page 645. An Act to amend the law relating to opium. Preamble. - Whereas it is expedient to amend the law relating to opium; it is hereby enacted as follows-The Act has been declared in force in the Sonthal Parganas by the Sonthal Par- ganas Settlement Regulation, 1872 (III of 1872), Section 3; in the Khondmals District by the Khondmals Laws Regulation, 1936 (IV of 1936), Section 3 and Schedule; and in the Angul District by the Angul Laws Regulation, 1936 (V of 1936), Section 3 and Schedule. Regulation V of 1936 has now been repealed by Orissa Act 19 of 1967. Angul is now a sub-division of Dhenkanal district of Orissa. This Act has been extended to the new Provinces and the merged States by the Merged States (Laws) Act, 1949 (LIX of 1949), Section 3 (1-1-1950) and to the States of Manipur, Tripura and Vindhya Pradesh by the Union Territories (Laws) Act, 1950 (XXX of 1950), Section 3 (16-4-1950). Manipur and Tripura have become full-fledged States now but Vindhya Pradesh has merged with the State of M. P.-See Acts 81 of 1971, Sections 5. 6; 37 of 1956, Section 9. It has also been extended to States merged in the State of- Madhya Pradesh, by M. P. Act 12 of 1950, Section 3 (3-4-1950); Madras, by Mad. Act 35 of 1949, Section 3 (1-1-1950); Orissa by Ori. Act IV of 19SO, Section 4 (3-3-1950); Punjab, by Punj. Act V of 1950, Section 3 (15-4-1950). The Act in its application to the pre-Reorganisation State of Bombay (excluding the transferred territories) has been repealed in whole, see Bombay Repealing and Amending Act, 1959 (Born. Act LXIII of 1959). As to repeal of this Act in the other areas of the State of Bombay, sec Born. Act XXV of 1949 as amended by Born. Act XII of 1959. The Act has now been revived in Bombay area of Mysore by Mysore Act XVII of 1962. It has now been extended to the Union territory of- (1) Goa, Daman and Diu, by Regn. XII of 1962 (31-3-1963); (2) Pondicherry, by Regn. VII of 1963 (1-10-1963); and (3) Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands, by Regn, VIII of 1965 (1-10- 1967). The Act has been extended to the Union territory of Dadraand Nagar Havell by G.S.R. 450 of 1968 issued under .Section 10 of Act 31 of 1965, with effect from 1-4- 1968. Act enforced in the Union territory of Goa, Daman and Diu on 31-1-1963-See Goa Govt. Gaz" 31-1-1963, Sr. I, No. 5 (Supplement), P. 31,

SECTION 01: SHORT TITLE

This Act may be called THE OPIUM ACT, 1878. Local extent.-2[It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.]

SECTION 02: REPEAL AND AMENDMENT OF ENACTMENT

-[Repealed by the Repealing and Amending Act, 1891 (XII of 1891), and the Amending Act, 1894 (IV of 1894).]

SECTION 03: INTERPRETATION CLAUSE

In this Act, unless there be something repugnant in the subject or context,-

3['opium" means- 4[(i) the capsules of the poppy (papaver somniferum L.), whether in their original form or cut, crushed or powdered, and whether or not juice has been extracted there from;]

(ii) the spontaneously coagulated juice of such capsules which has not been submitted to any manipulations other than those necessary for packing and transport; and

(iii) any mixture, with or without neutral materials, of any of the above forms of opium, but does not include any preparation containing not more than 0.2 per cent. of morphine, or a manufactured drug as defined in section 2 of the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930;]

5["Magistrate" means, in the presidency-towns, a Presidency Magistrate,6and elsewhere, a Magistrate of the first class or (when specially empowered by the State Government to try cases under this Act) a Magistrate of the second class; 7["customs frontiers" means any of the customs frontiers of India as defined by the Central Government under section 3-A of the Sea Customs Act, 1878: "import" and "export" means respectively to bring into, or take out of, a State otherwise than across any customs frontiers; "transport" means to remove from one place to another within the same State; "Sale" does not include sale for export across customs frontiers, and "sell" shall be construed accordingly.]

SECTION 04: PROHIBITION OF POPPY CULTIVATION AND POSSESSION, ETC., OF OPIUM

Except as permitted by this Act, or by any other enactment relating to opium for the time being in force, or by rules framed under this Act or under any such enactment, no one shall-

8[* * * *]

8[(a) possess opium;

8[(b)] transport opium;

8[(c)) import or export opium; or

8[(d)] sell opium.

SECTION 05: POWER TO MAKE RULES TO PERMIT SUCH MATTERS

The 9[State Government] 10[* * *] may, from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules consistent with this Act, to permit absolutely, or subject to the payment of duty or to any other conditions, and to regulate, within the whole or any specified part of the territories administered by such Government, all or any of the following matters:-

11[* * * * *]

11[(a) the possession of opium;

11[(b) the transport of opium;

11[(c) the importation or exportation of opium; and

11[(d) the sale of opium and the form of duties leviable on the sale of opium by retail: Provided that no duty shall be levied under any such rule on any opium imported and on which a duty is imposed by or under the law relating to sea customs' for the time being in force or under 12[the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930].

SECTION 06: DUTY ON OPIUM IMPORTED BY LAND

[Repealed by the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930 (II of 1930). Section 40 and Schedule II.)

SECTION 07: WAREHOUSING OPIUM

The 14[State Government] may, by notification published in the 15[Official Gazette], declare any place to be a warehouse for all or any opium legally imported, whether before or after the payment of any duty leviable thereon, into the territories administered by that Government, or into any specified pan, there of, and intended to be exported thence. So long as the declaration remains in force, the owner of all such opium shall be bound to deposit it in that warehouse.)

SECTION 08: POWER TO MAKE RULES RELATING TO WAREHOUSES

The 16[State Government] 17[* * *] may, from time to time, by notification in the18[Official Gazette [ make rules consistent with this Act to regulate the safe custody of opium ware- housed under section 7 ; the levy of fees for such warehousing; the removal of such opium for, sale or exportation; and the manner in which it shall be disposed of, if any duty or fees leviable on it be not paid within twelve months from the date of warehousing the same.

SECTION 09: PENALTY FOR ILLEGAL CULTIVATION OF POPPY, ETC

Any person who, in contravention of this Act, or of rules made and notified under section 5-orsection 8-

19[(a)] possesses opium, or

19[(b)] transports opium, or

19[(c)] imports or exports opium, or

19[(d)] sells opium, or

19[(e)] omits to warehouse opium, or removes or does any act in respect of warehoused opium, and any person who otherwise, contravenes any such rule,20[shall, on conviction before a Magistrate, be punishable for each such offence with imprisonment which may extend to three years, with or without fine]; and where a fine is imposed, the convicting Magistrate shall direct the of- fender to be imprisoned in default of payment of the fine for a term which may extend to six months, and such imprisonment shall be in excess of any other imprisonment to which lie may have been sentenced.

SECTION 10: PRESUMPTION IN PROSECUTIONS UNDER SECTION 9

In prosecutions under section 9, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that all opium for which the accused person is unable to account satisfactorily is opium in respect of which he has committed an offence under this Act.

SECTION 11: CONFISCATION OF OPIUM

- In any case in which an offence under section 9-has been committed,-

21[ * * * *] 21[(a)] the opium in respect of which any offence under the same section has been committed, 21[(b)] where in the case of an offence under clause22[(b) or (c)] of the same section,, the offender is transporting, importing or exporting any opium exceeding the quantity (if any) which he is permitted to transport, im- port or export, as the case may be, the whole of the opium which he is transporting, importing or exporting,

21[(c)] where, in the case of an offence under clause 23[(d)] of the same section, the offender has in his possession any opium other than the opium in respect of which the offence has been committed, the whole of such other opium, shall be liable to confiscation. The vessels, packages and coverings in which any opium liable to

Confiscation under this section is found, and the other contents (if any) of the vessel or package in which such opium may be concealed, and the animals and conveyances used in carrying it, shall likewise be liable to confiscation.

SECTION 12: ORDER OF CONFISCATION BY WHOM TO BE MADE

When the offender is convicted, or when the person charged with an offence in respect of any opium is acquitted, but the Magistrate decides that the opium is liable to confiscation, such confiscation may be ordered by the Magistrate. Whenever confiscation is authorized by this Act, the officer ordering it may give the owner of the thing liable to be confiscated an option to pay, in lieu of confiscation, such fine as the officer thinks fit. When an offence against this Act has been committed but the offender is not known or cannot be found, or when opium not in the possession of any person cannot be satisfactorily accounted for, the case shall be inquired into and determined by the Collector of the district or Deputy Commissioner, or by any other officer authorized by the State Government in this behalf, other personally or in right of his office, who may order such confiscation: Provided that no such order shall be made until the expiration of one month from the date of seizing the things intended to be confiscated or without hearing the persons (if any) claiming any right thereto, and the evidence (if any) which they produce in support of their claims.

SECTION 13: POWER TO MAKE RULES REGARDING DISPOSAL OF THINGS CONFISCATED, AND REWARDS

The 24[State Government may,25[* * *] from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules26consistent with this Act to regulate-

(a) the disposal of all things confiscated under this Act; and

(b) the rewards to be paid to officers and informers27[[* * *].

SECTION 14: POWER TO ENTER, ARREST AND SEIZE, ON INFORMATION THAT OPIUM IS UNLAWFULLY KEPT IN ANY ENCLOSED PLACE

-28[Any officer of the department of Central Excise, Narcotics, Drugs Control, Customs, Revenue,

Police or Excise, superior in rank to a peon or constable, authorized in this behalf by the Central Government or the State Government,) who ha; reason to believe, from personal knowledge or from information given by any person and taken down in writing, that opium liable to confiscation under this Act is 29[* * *] kept or concealed in any building, vessel or enclosed place, may, between sunrise and sunset,-

(a) enter into any such building, vessel or place;

(b) in case of resistance, break open any door and remove any other obstacle to such entry;

(c) seize such opium30[* * *] and any other thing which he has reason to believe to be liable to confiscation under section 11-or any, other law for the time being in force relating to opium; and

(d) detain and search, and, if he thinks proper, arrest, any person whom he has reason to believe to be guilty of any offence relating to such opium under this or any other law for the time being in force.

SECTION 15: POWER TO SEIZE OPIUM IN OPEN PLACES

- Any officer of any of the said departments may-

(a) seize, in any open place or in transit, any opium or other thing which he has reason to believe to be liable to confiscation under section 11-or any other law for the time being in force relating to opium; Power to detain, search and arrest.

(b) detain and search any person whom he has reason to believe to be guilty of any offence against this or any other such law, and, if such person has opium in his possession, arrest him, and any other persons in his company.

SECTION 16: SEARCHES HOW MADE

All searches under section 14-orsection 15-shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

SECTION 17: OFFICERS TO ASSIST EACH OTHER

- The .officers of the several departments mentioned in section 14-shall, upon notice given or request made, be legally bound to assist each other in carrying out the provisions of this Act.

SECTION 18: VEXATIOUS ENTRIES, SEARCHES, SEIZURES AND WRESTS

Any officer of any of the said departments, who, without reasonable ground of suspicion, enters or searches, or causes to be entered or searched, any building, vessel or place, or vexatious and unnecessarily seizes the property of any person on the pretence of seizing or searching for any opium or other thing liable to confiscation under this Act or vexatious and unnecessarily detains, searches or arrests any person, shall, for every such offence, be punished with fine not exceeding five hundred rupees.

SECTION 19: ISSUE OF WARRANTS

The Collector of the district, Deputy Commissioner or other officer authorized by the State Government in this behalf, either personally or in right of his office, or a Magistrate, may issue his warrant for the arrest of any person whom he has reason to believe to have committed an offence relating to opium, or for the search, whether by day or night, of any building or vessel or place in which he has reason to believe opium liable to confiscation to be kept or concealed. All warrants issued under this section shall be executed in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

SECTION 20: DISPOSAL OF PERSON ARRESTED OR THING SEIZED

Every person arrested, and thing seized, under section 14or section 15, shall be forwarded without delay to the officer in charge of the nearest police station; and every person arrested and thing seized under section 15 shall be forwarded without delay to the officer by whom the warrant was issued. Every officer to whom any person or thing is forwarded under this section shall, with all convenient dispatch, take such measures as may be necessary for the disposal according to law of such person or thing.

SECTION 21: REPORT OF ARRESTS AND SEIZURES

Whenever any officer makes any arrest or seizure under this Act, he shall, within forty-eight hours next after such arrest or seizure, make a full report of all the particulars of such arrest or seizure to his immediate official superior.

SECTION 22: PROCEDURE IN CAW OF ILLEGAL POPPY CULTIVATION

[Repealed by the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930 (II of 1930), section 40 and Schedule II.]

SECTION 23: RECOVERY OF ARREARS OF FEES, DUTIES, ETC

-Any arrear of any fee or duty imposed under this Act or any rule made hereunder, and any arrear due from any farmer of opium-revenue, may be recovered from the person primarily liable to pay the same to the31[State Government] or from his surety (if any) as if it were an arrear of land revenue.

SECTION 24: FARMER MAY APPLY TO COLLECTOR OR OTHER OFFICER TO RECOVER AMOUNT DUE TO HIM BY LICENSEE

When any amount is due to a farmer of opium-re- venue from his licensee, in respect of a license, such farmer may make an application to the Collector of the district, Deputy Commissioner or other officer authorized by the 32[State Government] in this behalf, praying such officer to recover, such amount on behalf of the applicant; and, on receiving such application, such Collector, Deputy Commissioner or other officer may in hire discretion recover such amount as if it were an arrear of land revenue, and shall pay any amount so recovered to the applicant: Provided that the execution of any process issued by such Collector, 33[Deputy Commissioner) or other officer for the recovery of such amount shall be stayed if the licensee institutes a suit in the Civil Court to try the demand of the farmer, and furnishes security to the satisfaction of such officer for the payment of the amount which such Court may adjudge to be due from him to such farmer: Provided also that nothing contained in this section or done there under shall affect the right of any farmer of opium-revenue to recover by suit in the Civil Court or otherwise any amount due to him from such licensee.

SECTION 25: RECOVERY OF PENALTIES DUE UNDER BOND

When any person, in compliance with any rule made hereunder, gives a bond for the performance of any duty or act, such duty or act shall be deemed to be a public duty, or an act in which the public are interested, as the case may be, within the meaning of the Indian Contract Act, 1872-,section 74-; and upon breach of the condition of such bond by him, the whole sum named therein as the amount to be paid in-.case of -such breach may be recovered from him as if it were an arrear of land-revenue.

SCHEDULE 01: SCHEDULE

.ENACTMENTS REPEALED. - [Repealed by the \repealing and Amending Act, 1891 (XII of 1891).]

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