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  • Writer's pictureTrivedi and Parashar (Advocates and Solicitors)

Judicial Updates-

Supreme Court - Under section 50 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, the accused should be informed about their right to be searched before a Magistrate/Gazetted officer.


In the matter of Mina Pun v. State of Uttar Pradesh [Criminal Appeal No. of 2023 (Arising out of S.L.P. (Crl.) No.3166 of 2023)], the Appellant was convicted under section 20(b)(ii)(C) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (“NDPS Act”). The Appellants served the entire substantial sentence of ten years of rigorous imprisonment and a sentence for a period of six months in default for payment of the fine. The Appellants filed an appeal before the Allahabad High Court contending that the Appellant was not informed that the body search could be conducted before a Magistrate or a Gazetted Officer. The Allahabad High Court Dismissed the Appeal. Aggrieved by the order of the Allahabad High Court, the Appellant filed an appeal before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court after hearing both the parties, referred its judgement in the matter Vijaysinh Jadeja v. State of Gujarat [(2011) 1 SCC 609], wherein the Constitution Bench observed that “Insofar as the obligation of the authorised officer under sub-section (1) of Section 50 of the NDPS Act is concerned, it is mandatory and requires strict compliance. Failure to comply with the provision would render the recovery of the illicit article suspect and vitiate the conviction if the same is recorded only on the basis of the recovery of the illicit article from the person of the accused during such search.


Therefore, the Supreme Court observed that the appellants were not informed about their right to be searched before a Magistrate or a Gazetted officer, and it is crystal clear that there was a violation of the safeguard provided by Section 50 of the NDPS Act.


Hence, the appeal was allowed.

 
 

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