Gujarat High Court Urges Expansion of Special Courts for NDPS Cases

In a bid to address the growing concern over the backlog of cases related to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act), the Gujarat High Court has issued a compelling call for the establishment of additional special courts. Highlighting the pressing need for expeditious trials, the court’s directive aims to ensure timely justice for individuals entangled in NDPS-related legal proceedings.

High Court’s Call to Action

A division bench comprising Justices AS Supehia and Vimal Vyas underscored the imperative for the State government to swiftly set up more special courts dedicated to adjudicating NDPS cases. The court’s plea emanated from a crucial case – Mahebubbhai Osmanbhai Theba and Others v. State of Gujarat – which brought to light the inadequate infrastructure currently in place to tackle NDPS-related litigation.

Present Challenges and Previous Efforts

While acknowledging the State’s previous initiative in 2015 to establish special NDPS courts in four metropolitan cities of Gujarat, the court lamented the stark reality: only one such court is presently operational. The dearth of specialized judicial forums has exacerbated the backlog of cases, compromising the fundamental principle of speedy trial enshrined by the Supreme Court.

Court’s Observations and Legal Implications

During the proceedings, the court was presented with distressing statistics reflecting the mounting pendency of NDPS cases. It unequivocally affirmed that the existing solitary special court is insufficient to tackle the burgeoning caseload effectively. The case at hand underscored the jurisdictional discrepancy, as the accused contested the validity of his conviction, arguing that trials under the NDPS Act must be conducted exclusively by designated special courts.

The Path to Resolution

In response to the pressing issue at hand, the court advocated for the issuance of a notification by the State government to designate additional special courts for NDPS cases. This proactive step is seen as pivotal in ameliorating the systemic challenges impeding the expeditious disposal of NDPS-related litigation.


The Gujarat High Court’s impassioned plea for the expansion of special courts for NDPS cases epitomizes its unwavering commitment to upholding justice. By urging proactive measures to address the systemic shortcomings, the court endeavors to restore faith in the judiciary and ensure equitable access to justice for all individuals embroiled in NDPS-related legal battles.

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About the Author: Payal Singh