Punjab says no to dope test for wannabe grooms 

This border state has an alarming number of drug addicts, besides high incidents of drug trafficking and deaths due to ‘drug overdose’. Representative image.

Punjab’s decision to keep grooms out of the purview of dope test comes even as the state has made it mandatory for availing several other services and opportunities. This border state has an alarming number of drug addicts, besides high incidents of drug trafficking and deaths due to ‘drug overdose’.

The plan was essentially mooted to save matrimonial alliances, given that often brides enter a wedlock ignorant of whether the one they would marry is hooked to drugs. In response to a petition, both Punjab and Haryana had submitted affidavits in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against making the test mandatory for grooms. Instead, they said the test should be conducted only if  the court directed.

Military recruitments in Punjab are now subject to aspirants clearing a dope test. The Army introduced this clause almost two years ago to ensure addicts are kept away from donning the olive-green uniform at the recruitment level. Sources suggest that only a minuscule number of recruits have tested positive for drugs during recruitment drives undertaken by the Army in the past.

MLA fails test

Punjab has also made it mandatory for arms licence holders to clear a dope test before renewal of a firearm licence. Punjab has maximum number of licensed firearms holders after UP. A dope test clearance certificate is also needed now for joining a government job in Punjab. It’s also being made mandatory for government employees, excluding women. Dope test is mandatory for jail inmates given that an estimated 40% of jail inmates are hooked to one or the other form of drugs.

A few months ago, Punjab legislators and cabinet ministers showed sporadic enthusiasm by volunteering to get a dope test. Few got it done, while one MLA failed the test.

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Punjab says no to dope test for wannabe grooms 

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