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Used for treating cough and common cold and often abused by youngsters, the codeine-based Phensedyl (trade name) will now be considered as a narcotic substance falling under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday decided to treat it as such while hearing a bail plea of a person found with 600 bottles of the medicine.

The petitioner had argued that Phensedyl came under the purview of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and not the NDPS Act. But the bench of justices Moushumi Bhattacharya and Joymalya Bagchi held that he was found in illicit possession of the syrup and the Drugs and Cosmetics Act does not bar the provisions of the NDPS Act from operating. The petitioner was not even a dealer of drugs under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, it observed.

The bench also mentioned the Delhi High Court judgment in Pfizer Limited vs Union of India.

Citing Section 80 of the NDPS Act which states that the “provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (23 of 1940) or the rules made thereunder”, it, therefore, denied bail to the petitioner.

—India Legal Bureau

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