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Section 50 NDPS Act Conditions Not Required To Be Complied In Case Of Vehicle Search: Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
12 Dec 2021 4:27 AM GMT
Section 50 NDPS Act Conditions Not Required To Be Complied In Case Of Vehicle Search: Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that the provisions of Section 50 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act is required to be complied in the case of personal search only with but not in the case of search of vehicle.The court also observed that merely because independent witnesses were not examined, the conclusion could not be drawn that accused was falsely implicated. Non­-production of...

The Supreme Court observed that the provisions of Section 50 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act is required to be complied in the case of personal search only with but not in the case of search of vehicle.

The court also observed that merely because independent witnesses were not examined, the conclusion could not be drawn that accused was falsely implicated. Non­-production of contraband in the Court by itself is not fatal, the bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari observed while confirming the conviction of an accused in an NDPS case.

One Kallu Khan was concurrently convicted under Sections 8 & 21 of NDPS Act and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10 years along with fine of Rs. 1,00,000. In appeal, the accused made the following arguments: That in absence of handling and disposal of seized narcotic drags/psychotropic substances, the danger of re­circulation of seized contraband back into the system cannot be ruled out. That the procedure, as contemplated under Section 50(1) of NDPS Act, has not been followed. That the ownership of the vehicle is not of the accused, and the link of the vehicle in commission of the offence qua accused is missing. That the contraband article has not been produced in the court during evidence.

The court, perusing the case records,noted that while making search at public place, the contraband was seized from the motor cycle driven by the accused. "The seizure of the motor cycle from him is proved beyond reasonable doubt, therefore, the question of ownership of vehicle is not relevant.", the bench said.

Regarding non­-production of contraband in the court, the bench observed that when the seizure of material is proved on record and is not even disputed, the entire contraband material need not be placed on record. The court said:

"It is not a case in which the appellant has proved beyond reasonable doubt that while sending the samples for forensic tests, seals were not intact or the procedure has been materially not followed by protecting the seized substance or was not stored properly, as specified in the case of Mohan Lal (supra) in which case the directions were given to be followed on administrative side. However, in the facts of the case, the said judgment is not of any help to appellant. Similarly, in the case of Than Kumar vs. State of Haryana (2020) 5 SCC 260, this Court observed that if seizure is otherwise proved and the samples taken from and out of contraband material were kept intact; the report of forensic expert shows potency, nature and quality of contraband material, essential ingredients constituting offence are made out and the non­production of contraband in the Court is not fatal. As discussed above, the appellant has failed to show that 13 findings recorded by two Courts suffer from any perversity or illegality on the said issue and warrant interference"

Regarding non-­compliance of Section 50 of NDPS Act, the bench observed:

"15. Simultaneously, the arguments advanced by the appellant regarding non­compliance of Section 50 of NDPS Act is bereft of any merit because no recovery of contraband from the person of the accused has been made to which compliance of the provision of Section 50 NDPS Act has to follow mandatorily. In the present case, in the search of motor cycle at public place, the seizure of contraband was made, as revealed. Therefore, compliance of Section 50 does not attract in the present case. It is settled in the case of Vijaysinh (supra) that in the case of personal search only, the provisions of Section 50 of the Act is required to be complied with but not in the case of vehicle as in the present case, following the judgments of Surinder Kumar (supra) and Baljinder Singh (supra). Considering the facts of this Court, the argument of non­compliance of Section 50 of NDPS Act advanced by the counsel is hereby repelled."

The court added that in this case, the conduct of the accused was found suspicious and a chance recovery from the vehicle used by him is made from public place and proved beyond reasonable doubt. 

"The issue raised regarding conviction solely relying upon the testimony of police witnesses, without procuring any independent witness, recorded by the two courts, has also been dealt with by this Court in the case of Surinder Kumar (supra) holding that merely because independent witnesses were not examined, the conclusion could not be drawn that accused was falsely implicated.", the court said while dismissing the appeal.


Case name: Kallu Khan vs State of Rajasthan

Citation: LL 2021 SC 731

Case no. | Date : CrA 1605 OF 2021 | 11 Dec 2021

Coram: Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari


Click here to Read/Download Judgment




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