The Narcotics Control Bill 2018 was placed in parliament last night, with provision for death sentence or life-term imprisonment for carrying, producing, trading and using more than five grammes of yaba, and more than 25 grammes of heroin and cocaine.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan placed the bill, which was sent to the respective parliamentary standing committee for further examination. The committee was asked to submit its report within two days.
In the existing law, Narcotics Control Act 1990, there is no provision for death sentence or life imprisonment for offences related to heroin and cocaine. The maximum punishment is 15 years.
According to the proposed law, punishment for transporting, trading, storing, producing, processing, applying and using more than five grams of yaba or methamphetamine will be death penalty or life-term imprisonment.
For less than five grammes of the substance, the punishment will be minimum one year to maximum five years of jail, alongside the fine.
According to Department of Narcotics Control, about 50 methamphetamine pills weigh five grammes.
Methamphetamine substances were also included into A-category narcotics in the proposed law, as it is not in the existing act.
Shisha, khat and dope tests were incorporated in the draft bill, as the existing law do not address these.
Punishment for transporting, trading, storing, producing, processing, applying and using more than 25 grammes of narcotics originated from heroin, cocaine and coca will be death penalty or life-term imprisonment, while for less than 25 grammes of the A-category narcotics, the penalty will be two years to 10 years of jail.
The maximum punishment for any individual or organisation financing or patronising drug dealing will be death penalty.
On October 8, the cabinet approved draft of the act to update the existing one in line with relevant UN conventions, of which Bangladesh is a signatory.