PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS UNDER THE NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES ACT, 1985[NDPS]

THE NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES ACT, 1985

41. Power to issue warrant and authorisation.—

(1) A Metropolitan Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class or any Magistrate of the second-class specially empowered by the State Government in this behalf, may issue a warrant for the arrest of any person whom he has reason to believe to have committed any offence punishable under this Act, or for the search, whether by day or by night, of any building, conveyance or place in which he has reason to believe any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substance in respect of which an offence punishable under this Act has been committed or any document or other article which may furnish evidence of the commission of such offence or any illegally acquired property or any document or other article which may furnish evidence of holding any illegally acquired property which is liable for seizure or freezing or forfeiture under Chapter VA of this Act is kept or concealed.

(2) Any such officer of gazetted rank of the departments of central excise, narcotics, customs, revenue intelligence or any other department of the Central Government including the paramilitary forces or the armed forces as is empowered in this behalf by general or special order by the Central Government, or any such officer of the revenue, drugs control, excise, police or any other department of a State Government as is empowered in this behalf by general or special order of the State Government if he has reason to believe from personal knowledge or information given by any person and taken in writing that any person has committed an offence punishable under this Act or that any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substance in respect of which any offence under this Act has been committed or any document or other article which may furnish evidence of the commission of such offence or any illegally acquired property or any document or other article which may furnish evidence of holding any illegally acquired property which is liable for seizure or freezing or forfeiture under Chapter VA of this Act is kept or concealed in any building, conveyance or place, may authorise any officer subordinate to him but superior in rank to a peon, sepoy or a constable to arrest such a person or search a building, conveyance or place whether by day or by night or himself arrest such person or search a building, conveyance or place.

(3) The officer to whom a warrant under sub-section (1) is addressed and the officer who authorised the arrest or search or the officer who is so authorised under sub-section (2)shall have all the powers of an officer acting under section 42.

42. Power of entry, search, seizure and arrest without warrant or authorisation.—

(1) Any such officer (being an officer superior in rank to a peon, sepoy or constable) of the departments of central excise, narcotics, customs, revenue intelligence or any other department of the Central Government including paramilitary forces or armed forces as is empowered in this behalf by general or special order by the Central Government, or any such officer (being an officer superior in rank to a peon, sepoy or constable) of the revenue, drugs control, excise, police or any other department of a State Government as is empowered in this behalf by general or special order of the State Government, if he has reason to believe from persons knowledge or information given by any person and taken down in writing that any narcotic drug, or psychotropic substance, or controlled substance in respect of which an offence punishable under this Act has been committed or any document or other article which may furnish evidence of the commission of such offence or any illegally acquired property or any document or other article which may furnish evidence of holding any illegally acquired property which is liable for seizure or freezing or forfeiture under Chapter VA of this Act is kept or concealed in any building, conveyance or enclosed place, may between sunrise and sunset,–
(a)enter into and search any such building, conveyance or place;
(b)in case of resistance, break open any door and remove any obstacle to such entry;
(c)seize such drug or substance and all materials used in the manufacture thereof and any other article and any animal or conveyance which he has reason to believe to be liable to confiscation under this Act and any document or other article which he has reason to believe may furnish evidence of the commission of any offence punishable under this Act or furnish evidence of holding any illegally acquired property which is liable for seizure or freezing or forfeiture under Chapter VA of this Act; and
(d)detain and search, and, if he thinks proper, arrest any person whom he has reason to believe to have committed any offence punishable under this Act:
Provided that in respect of holder of a licence for manufacture of manufactured drugs or psychotropic substances or controlled substances granted under this Act or any rule or order made thereunder, such power shall be exercised by an officer not below the rank of sub-inspector:

Provided further that if such officer has reason to believe that a search warrant or authorisation cannot be obtained without affording opportunity for the concealment of evidence or facility for the escape of an offender, he may enter and search such building, conveyance or enclosed place at any time between sunset and sunrise after recording the grounds of his belief.

(2) Where an officer takes down any information in writing under sub-section (1) or records grounds for his belief under the proviso thereto, he shall within seventy-two hours send a copy thereof to his immediate official superior.

43. Power of seizure and arrest in public place.—

Any officer of any of the departments mentioned in section 42 may —
(a)seize in any public place or in transit, any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substance in respect of which he has reason to believe an offence punishable under this Act has been committed, and, along with such drug or substance, any animal or conveyance or article liable to confiscation under this Act, any document or other article which he has reason to believe may furnish evidence of the commission of an offence punishable under this Act or any document or other article which may furnish evidence of holding any illegally acquired property which is liable for seizure or freezing or forfeiture under Chapter VA of this Act;

(b)detain and search any person whom he has reason to believe to have committed an offence punishable under this Act, and if such person has any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substance in his possession and such possession appears to him to be unlawful, arrest him and any other person in his company.
Explanation:— For the purposes of this section, the expression “public place” includes any public conveyance, hotel, shop, or other place intended for use by, or accessible to, the public.

44. Power of entry, search, seizure and arrest in offences relating to coca plant, opium poppy and cannabis plant.—

The provisions of sections 41, 42 and 43, shall so far as may be, apply in relation to the offences punishable under Chapter IV and relating to coca plant, the opium poppy or cannabis plant and for this purpose references in those sections to narcotic drugs, or psychotropic substance, or controlled substance, shall be construed as including references to coca plant, the opium poppy and cannabis plant.

45.Procedure where seizure of goods liable to confiscation not practicable.—

Where it is not practicable to size any goods (including standing crop) which are liable to confiscation under this Act, any officer duly authorised under section 42 may serve on the owner or person in possession of the goods, an order that he shall not remove, part with or otherwise deal with the goods except with the previous permission of such officer.

46. Duty of land holder to give information of illegal cultivation.—

Every holder of land shall give immediate information to any officer of the police or of any of the departments mentioned in section 42 of all the opium poppy, cannabis plant or coca plant which may be illegally cultivated within his land and every such holder of land who knowingly neglects to give such information, shall be liable to punishment.

47. Duty of certain officers to give information of illegal cultivation.—

Every officer of the Government and every panch, sarpanch and other village officer of whatever description shall give immediate information to any officer of the Police or of any of the departments mentioned in section 42 when it may come to his knowledge that any land has been illegally cultivated with the opium poppy, cannabis plant or coca plant, and every such officer of the Government, panch, sarpanch and other village officer who neglects to give such information, shall be liable to punishment.

48. Power of attachment of crop illegally cultivated.—

Any Metropolitan Magistrate, Judicial Magistrate of the first class or any Magistrate specially empowered in this behalf by the State Government or any officer of a gazetted rank empowered under section 42 may order attachment of any opium poppy, cannabis plant or coca plant which he has reason to believe to have been illegally cultivated and while doing so may pass such order (including an order to destroy the crop) as he thinks fit.

49. Power to stop and search conveyance.—

Any officer authorised under section 42, may, if he has reason to suspect that any animal or conveyance is, or is about to be, used for the transport of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substance, in respect of which he suspects that any provision of this Act has been, or is being, or is about to be, contravened at any time, stop such animal or conveyance, or, in the case of an aircraft, compel it to land and —
(a)rummage and search the conveyance or part thereof;
(b)examine and search any goods on the animal or in the conveyance;
(c)if it becomes necessary to stop the animal or the conveyance, he may use all lawful means for stopping it, and where such means fail, the animal or the conveyance may be fired upon.

50. Conditions under which search of persons shall be conducted.—

(1) When any officer duly authorised under section 42 is about to search any person under the provisions of section 41, section 42 or section 43, he shall, if such person so requires, take such person without unnecessary delay to the nearest Gazette Officer of any of the departments mentioned in section 42 or to the nearest Magistrate.
(2) If such requisition is made, the officer may detain the person until he can bring him before the Gazetted Officer or the Magistrate referred to in subsection (1).
(3) The Gazette Officer or the Magistrate before whom any such person is brought shall, if he sees no reasonable ground for search, forthwith discharge the person but otherwise shall direct that search be made.
(4) No female shall be searched by anyone excepting a female.
(5) When an officer duly authorised under section 42 has reason to believe that it is not possible to take the person to be searched to the nearest Gazetted Officer or Magistrate without the possibility of the person to be searched parting with possession of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance, or controlled substance or article or document, he may, instead of taking such person to the nearest Gazette Officer or Magistrate, proceed to search the person as provided under section 100 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).
(6) After a search is conducted under sub-section (5), the officer shall record the reasons for such belief which necessitated such search and within seventy-two hours send a copy thereof to his immediate official superior.

50A. Power to undertake controlled delivery.—

The Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau constituted under sub-section (3) of section 4 or any other officer authorised by him in this behalf, may, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, undertake controlled delivery of any consignment to—
(a)any destination in India;
(b)a foreign country, in consultation with the competent authority of such foreign country to which such consignment is destined, in such manner as may be prescribed.

51. Provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to apply to warrants, arrests, searches and seizures.—

The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) shall apply, in so far as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, to all warrants issued and arrests, searches and seizures made under this Act.

52. Disposal of persons arrested and articles seized.—

(1) Any officer arresting a person under section 41, section 42 section 43 or section 44 shall, as soon as may be, inform him of the grounds for such arrest.
(2) Every person arrested and article seized under warrant issued under sub-section (1) of section 41 shall be forwarded without unnecessary delay to the Magistrate by whom the warrant was issued.
(3) Every person arrested and article seized under sub-section (2) of section 41, section 42, section 43 or section 44 shall be forwarded without unnecessary delay to–
(a)the officer-in-charge of the nearest police station, or
(b)the officer empowered under section 53.
(4) The authority or officer to whom any person or article is forwarded under sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) shall, with all convenient dispatch, take such measures as may be necessary for the disposal according to law of such person or article.

52A. Disposal of seized narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.—

(1) The Central Government may, having regard to the hazardous nature, vulnerability to theft, substitution, constraint of proper storage space or any other relevant consideration, in respect of any narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, controlled substances or conveyances, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify such narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, controlled substances or conveyance or class of narcotic drugs, class of psychotropic substances, class of controlled substances or conveyances, which shall, as soon as may be after their seizure, be disposed of by such officer and in such manner as that Government may, from time to time, determine after following the procedure hereinafter specified.

(2) Where any narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, controlled substances or conveyances has been seized and forwarded to the officer-in-charge of the nearest police station or to the officer empowered under section 53, the officer referred to in sub-section (1) shall prepare an inventory of such narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances containing such details relating to their description, quality, quantity, mode of packing, marks, numbers or such other identifying particulars of the narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or the packing in which they are packed, country of origin and other particulars as the officer referred to in sub-section (1) may consider relevant to the identity of the narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances in any proceedings under this Act and make an application, to any Magistrate for the purpose of—

(a)certifying the correctness of the inventory so prepared; or
(b)taking, in the presence of such Magistrate, photographs of such drugs, substances or conveyances and certifying such photographs as true; or
(c)allowing to draw representative samples of such drugs or substances, in the presence of such Magistrate and certifying the correctness of any list of samples so drawn.

(3) Where an application is made under sub-section (2), the Magistrate shall, as soon as may be, allow the application.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872) or the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), every court trying an offence under this Act, shall treat the inventory, the photographs of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, controlled substances or conveyances and any list of samples drawn under subsection (2) and certified by the Magistrate, as primary evidence in respect of such offence.

53. Power to invest officers of certain departments with powers of an officer-in-charge of a. police station.—

(1) The Central Government, after consultation with the State Government, may, by notification published in the Official Gazette, invest any officer of the department of central excise, narcotics, customs, revenue intelligence or any other department of the Central Government including para-military forces or armed forces or any class of such officers with the powers of an officer-in-charge of a police station for the investigation of the offences under this Act.
(2) The State Government may, by notification published in the Official Gazette, invest any officer of the department of drugs control, revenue or excise or any other department or any class of such officers with the powers of an officer-in-charge of a police station for the investigation of offences under this Act.

53A. Relevancy of statements under certain circumstances.—

(1) A statement made and signed by a person before any officer empowered under section 53 for the investigation of offences, during the course of any inquiry or proceedings by such officer, shall be relevant for the purpose of proving, in any prosecution for an offence under this Act, the truth of the facts which it contains,—
(a)when the person who made the statement is dead or cannot be found or is incapable of giving evidence, or is kept out of the way by the adverse party, or whose presence cannot be obtained without an amount of delay or expense which, under the circumstances of the case, the court considers unreasonable; or

(b)when the person who made the statement is examined as a witness in the case before the court and the court is of the opinion that having regard to the circumstances of the case, the statement should be admitted in evidence in the interest of justice.

(2) The provisions of sub-section (1) shall, so far as may be, apply in relation to any proceedings under this Act or the rules or orders made thereunder, other than a proceeding before a court, as they apply in relation to a proceeding before a court.

54. Presumption from possession of illicit articles.—

In trials under this Act, it may be presumed, unless and until the contrary is proved, that the accused has committed an offence under this Act in respect of—
(a)any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substance;
(b)any opium poppy, cannabis plant or coca plant growing on any land which he has cultivated;
(c)any apparatus specially designed or any group of utensils specially adopted for the manufacture of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substance; or
(d)any materials which have undergone any process towards the manufacture of a narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substance, or any residue left of the materials from which any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substance has been manufactured,
for the possession of which he fails to account satisfactorily.

55. Police to take charge of articles seized and delivered.—

An officer-in-charge of a police station shall take charge of and keep in safe custody, pending the orders of the Magistrate, all articles seized under this Act within the local area of that police station and which may be delivered to him, and shall allow any officer who may accompany such articles to the police station or who may be deputed for the purpose, to affix his seal to such articles or to take samples of and from them and all samples so taken shall also be sealed with a seal of the officer-in-charge of the police station.

56.Obligation of officers to assist each other.—

All officers of the several departments mentioned in section 42 shall, upon notice given or request made, be legally bound to assist each other in carrying out the provisions of this Act.

57. Report of arrest and seizure.—

Whenever any person makes any arrest or seizure, under this Act, he shall, within forty-eight hours next after such arrest or seizure, make a full report of all the particulars of such arrest or seizure to his immediate official superior.

57A. Report of seizure of property of the person arrested by the notified officer.—

Whenever any officer notified under section 53 makes an arrest or seizure under this Act, and the provisions of Chapter VA apply to any person involved in the case of such arrest or seizure, the officer shall make a report of the illegally acquired properties of such person to the jurisdictional competent authority within ninety days of the arrest or seizure.

58 . Punishment for vexatious entry, search, seizure or arrest.—

(1) Any person empowered under section 42 or section 43 or section 44 who–
(a)without reasonable ground of suspicion enters or searches, or causes to be entered or searched, any building, conveyance or place;
(b)vexatiously and unnecessarily seizes the property of any person on the pretence of seizing or searching for any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or other article liable to be confiscated under this Act, or of seizing any document or other article liable to be seized under section 42, section 43 or section 44; or
(c)vexatiously and unnecessarily detains, searches or arrests any person,
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
(2) Any person willfully and maliciously giving false information and so causing an arrest or a search being made under this Act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.

59. Failure of officer in duty or his connivance at the contravention of the provisions of this Act.—

(1) Any officer, on whom any duty has been imposed by or under this Act and who ceases or refuses to perform or withdraws himself from the duties of his office shall, unless he has obtained the express written permission of his official superior or has other lawful excuse for so doing, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.
(2) Any officer on whom any duty has been imposed by or under this Act or any person who has been given the custody of–
(a)any addict; or
(b)any other person who has been charged with an offence under this Act,
and who willfully aids in, or connives at, the contravention of any provision of this Act or any rule or order made there under, shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to twenty years, and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees.

Explanation:— For the purposes of this sub-section, the expression “officer” includes any person employed in a hospital or institution maintained or recognised by the Government or a local authority under section 64A for providing de-addiction treatment.
(3) No court shall take cognizance of any offence under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) except on a complaint in writing made with the previous sanction of the Central Government, or as the case may be, the State Government.

60. Liability of illicit drugs, substances, plants, articles and conveyances to confiscation.

(1) Whenever any offence punishable under this Act has been committed, the narcotic drug, psychotropic substance, controlled substance, opium poppy, coca plant, cannabis plant, materials, apparatus and utensils in respect of which or by means of which such offence has been committed, shall be liable to confiscation.
(2) Any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substances lawfully produced, imported inter-State, exported inter-State, imported into India, transported, manufactured, possessed, used, purchased or sold along with, or in addition to, any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substances which is liable to confiscation under sub-section (1) and there receptacles, packages and coverings in which any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substances, materials, apparatus or utensils liable to confiscation under sub-section (1) is found, and the other contents, if any, of such receptacles or packages shall likewise be liable to confiscation.
(3) Any animal or conveyance used in carrying any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or controlled substance, or any article liable to confiscation under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be liable to confiscation, unless the owner of the animal or conveyance proves that it was so used without the knowledge or connivance of the owner himself, his agent, if any, and the person-in-charge of the animal or conveyance and that each of them had taken all reasonable precautions against such use.

61. Confiscation of goods used for concealing illicit drugs or substances.—

Any goods used for concealing any narcotic drug, psychotropic substance or controlled substance which is liable to confiscation under this Act shall also be liable to confiscation.
Explanation: In this section “goods” does not include conveyance as a means of transport.

62.Confiscation of sale proceeds of illicit drugs or substances. —

Where any narcotic drug, psychotropic substance or controlled substance is sold by a person having knowledge or reason to believe that the drug or substance is liable to confiscation under this Act the sale proceeds thereof shall also be liable to confiscation.

63. Procedure in making confiscations.—

(1) In the trial of offences under this Act, whether the accused is convicted or acquitted or discharged, the court shall decide whether any article or thing seized under this Act is liable to confiscation under section 60 or section 61 or section 62 and, if it decides that the article is so liable, it may order confiscation accordingly.
(2) Where any article or thing seized under this Act appears to be liable to confiscation under section 60 or section 61 or section 62, but the person who committed the offence in connection therewith is not known or cannot be found, the court may inquire into and decide such liability, and may order confiscation accordingly:
Provided that no order of confiscation of an article or thing shall be made until the expiry of one month from the date of seizure, or without hearing any person who may claim any right thereto and the evidence, if any, which he produces in respect of his claim:
Provided further that if any such article or thing, other than a narcotic drug, psychotropic substance, controlled substance, the opium poppy, coca plant or cannabis plant is liable to speedy and natural decay, or if the court is of opinion that its sale would be for the benefit of its owner, it may at any time direct it to be sold; and the provisions of this sub-section shall, as nearly as may be practicable, apply to the net proceeds of the sale.

64.Power to tender immunity from prosecution.—

(1) The Central Government or the State Government may, if it is of opinion (the reasons for such opinion being recorded in writing) that with a view to obtaining the evidence of any person appearing to have been directly or indirectly concerned in or privy to the contravention of any of the provisions of this Act or of any rule or order made thereunder it is necessary or expedient so to do, tender to such person immunity from prosecution for any offence under this Act or under the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or under any other Central Act or State Act, as the case may be, for the time being in force, on condition of his making a full and true disclosure of the whole circumstances relating to such contravention.
(2) A tender of immunity made to, and accepted by, the person concerned, shall, to the extent to which the immunity extends, render him immune from prosecution for any offence in respect of which the tender was made.
(3) If it appears to the Central Government or, as the case may be, the State Government, that any person to whom immunity has been tendered under this section has not complied with the conditions on which the tender was made or is willfully concealing anything or is giving false evidence, the Central Government or, as the case may be, the State Government, may record a finding to that effect and thereupon the immunity shall be deemed to have been withdrawn and such person may be tried for the offence in respect of which the tender of immunity was made or for any other offence of which he appears to have been guilty in connection with the same matter.

64A. Immunity from prosecution to addicts volunteering for treatment.—

Any addict, who is charged with an offence punishable under section 27 or with offences involving small quantity of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, who voluntarily seeks to undergo medical treatment for de-addiction from a hospital or an institution maintained or recognised by the Government or a local authority and undergoes such treatment shall not be liable to prosecution under section 27 or under any other section for offences involving small quantity of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances:
Provided that the said immunity from prosecution may be withdrawn if the addict does not undergo the complete treatment for de-addiction.

65. Power to make rules regulating disposal of confiscated articles and rewards.— Rep

66. Presumption as to documents in certain cases.—

Where any document—

(i)is produced or furnished by any person or has been seized from the custody or control of any person, in either case, under this Act or under any other law, or

(ii)has been received from any place outside India (duly authenticated by such authority or person and in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government) in the course of investigation of any offence under this Act alleged to have been committed by a person, and such document is tendered in any prosecution under this Act in evidence against him, or against him and any other person who is tried jointly with him, the court shall—

(a)presume, unless the contrary is proved, that the signature and every other part of such document which purports to be in the handwriting of any particular person or which the court may reasonably assume to have been signed by, or to be in the handwriting of, any particular person, is in that person’s handwriting; and in the case of a document executed or attested, that it was executed or attested by the person by whom it purports to have been so executed or attested;

(b)admit the document in evidence, notwithstanding that it is not duly stamped, if such document is otherwise admissible in evidence;

(c)in a case falling under clause (i), also presume, unless the contrary is proved, the truth of the contents of such document.

67. Power to call for information, etc.—

Any officer referred to in section 42 who is authorised in this behalf by the Central Government or a State Government may, during the course of any enquiry in connection with the contravention of any provisions of this Act,–
(a)call for information from any person for the purpose of satisfying himself whether there has been any contravention of the provisions of this Act or any rule or order made thereunder;
(b)require any person to produce or deliver any document or thing useful or relevant to the enquiry;
(c)examine any person acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case.

68. Information as to commission of offences.—

No officer acting in exercise of powers vested in him under any provision of this Act or any rule or order made thereunder shall be compelled to say whence he got any information as to the commission of any offence.

Devider

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