Non-complince of the mandatory procedure

Advocate/ nadeemqureshi1@gmail.com

NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES ACT, 1985: s.50 - Search of person of suspect / accused - Procedure - Nature of - Conviction of accused u/ss.8 and 21 - Held: It is mandatory on the part of the authorized officer to make the accused aware of his right to be searched before a Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate, if so required by him and this mandatory provision requires strict compliance - In the instant case, accused had been only informed that he could be searched before a Magistrate or a Gazetted Officer, if he so wished - Thus, there being non- compliance of the mandatory provision, conviction and sentence awarded by courts below, set aside - Maxim "ignorantia juris non excusat". The appellant was convicted and sentenced to 10 years RI and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh u/ss. 8 and 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, as he was stated to have been found in possession of two packets of smack of 344 gm. each. His appeal was dismissed by the High Court. In the instant appeal it was contended for the accused-appellant that his conviction was vitiated for non-compliance of the procedure laid down u/s. 50 of the NDPS Act, as he was not informed by the empowered officer of his right to be searched before a Magistrate or a Gazetted Officer.

 
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