The Supreme Court has upheld its decision to strike out provisions in the Narcotic Control Commission Act that allowed for the cultivation of certain kinds of cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes.

The review application filed by the office of the Attorney General was dismissed in a 5-4 decision.

The Supreme Court had earlier ruled in favour of an applicant who invoked the original jurisdiction of the apex court to strike the provision which was legislated in violation of Article 106 of the 1992 constitution.

According to the applicant, the said provision was introduced without an explanatory memorandum as mandated by law.

The apex court after considering the review application dismissed it for not meeting the threshold.

In July last year, the apex court struck out and described as unconstitutional, Section 43 of the Narcotics Control Commission Act 2020 (Act 1019).

Section 43 of Act 1019 allows the Minister of the Interior, upon the recommendation of the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC), to grant an entity the licence to cultivate cannabis of not more than 0.3 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content for industrial and medicinal purposes.

The court held that the law was unconstitutional because there was no debate in Parliament on it before its passage into law, as stipulated by Article 106 (5) (6) of the 1992 Constitution.

Again, the apex court was of the considered opinion that the explanatory memorandum attached to the bill placed before Parliament did not set out in detail the policy change, the defects in the existing law and the necessity to introduce a law to license the cultivation of cannabis.

Such an omission, it held, was a violation of Article 106 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.