S. 50 Of NDPS Act- Presence Of Magistrate During Search Of Contraband Articles Not Mandatory If Accused Waives His Right: Delhi High Court

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Case: Nabi Alam alias Abbas v. State (Govt Of Nct Of Delhi)

Coram: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Siddharth Mridul & Hon’ble Mr. Justice Talwant Singh

Case No: BAIL APPLN. 2641/2018

Court Observation: “There is no requirement to conduct the search of the person, suspected to be in possession of a narcotic drug or a psychotropic substance, only in the presence of a Gazetted Officer or Magistrate, if the person proposed to be searched, after being apprised by the empowered officer of his right under Section 50 of the NDPS Act to be searched before a Gazetted Officer or Magistrate categorically waives such right by electing to be searched by the empowered officer,”

“The words “if such person so requires”, as used in Section 50(1) of the NDPS Act would be rendered otiose, if the person proposed to be searched would still be required to be searched only before a Gazetted Officer or Magistrate, despite having expressly waived “such requisition”, as mentioned in the opening sentence of sub-Section (2) of Section 50 of the Act.”

“The sequitur to this observation of the Supreme Court leaves no manner of doubt that once the suspect has been apprised by the empowered officer of his right to be searched before a Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate, but chooses not to exercise that right, the empowered officer can conduct the search of such person without producing him before a Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate, for the said purpose.”


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