22. Power of entry, inspection, search and seizure.-
(1) For the purpose of ascertaining the position of the working, actual or prospective, of any mine or abandoned mine, or for any other purpose connected with this Act or the rules made thereunder, any officer authorised, by the Central Government in this behalf, by general or special order, may-
(a) enter and inspect, at all reasonable times, any mine;
(b) weigh, draw samples or take measurements of the stocks of minerals recovered from any mine;
(c) survey and take samples and measurements in any such mine;
(d) examine any document, book, register or record in the possession or power of any person having the control of, or connected with, any mine and place marks of identification thereon and take extracts from, or make copies of, such document, book, register or record;
(e) order the production of any such document, book, register and record, by the person referred to in clause (d); and
(f) examine any person having the control of, or connected with, any mine.
(2) Any authorised officer may, for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the requirements of this Act or any rule made thereunder have been complied with, either with, or where it is not possible to obtain warrant conveniently, then, without, a warrant, -
(a) search any mine;
(b) stop or board and search any vessel which is engaged or which is likely to be engaged in any activity regulated under this Act; and
(c) require the person for the time being having command or charge of mine or such vessel to produce any licence, permit, log book or other document relating, to the vessel or mine and examine or take copies of such licence, permit, log book or other document, as the case may be, for ascertaining the requirements of sub-section (1).
(3) Where the authorised officer has reason to believe that any vessel or mine has been, or is being, or is about to be, used or employed, as the case may be, in violation of any provision of this Act or rule made thereunder, he may, with, or where it is not possible to obtain warrant conveniently, then, without, a warrant,-
(a) seize and detain such vessel or mine, including any gear, equipment, stores or cargo found on board such vessel or belonging to the vessel and seize any mineral found on board the vessel;
(b) seize any evidence relating to violation of any provision of this Act or rule made thereunder;
(c) require the person for the time being having command or charge of the vessel, platform or erection of the mine so seized or detained to bring such vessel, platform or erection to any specified port;
(d) arrest any person whom such officer has reason to believe, has committed such violation:
Provided that the authorised officer, after arresting such person and before producing him before the competent court, shall inform the administering authority regarding the arrest and grounds of arrest communicated to the person so arrested.
(4) In taking any action under sub-section (3), the authorised officer may use such force as may be reasonably necessary.
(5) Where any vessel or other things are seized or detained, under sub-section (3),-
(a) the vessel or other things so seized or detained shall, as soon as possible, be produced before the court competent to try an offence under this Act and the court shall make such order as it may deem fit for the retention or custody of such vessel or things with the Central Government or any other authority pending the completion of any proceedings for the prosecution of any offence relating to such vessel or things, as the case may be, under this Act or rules made thereunder:
Provided that the court may, on an application made by the owner or the person for the time being having command or charge of the vessel or mine, order the release of the vessel or other things so seized or detained, to the owner or the person for the tie being having command or charge of the vessel or mine, furnishing security in the form of cash or a bank guarantee for an amount which is not less than fifty per cent. of the value of the vessel or things so seized or detained;
(b) the administering authority shall be informed by the authorised officer of such seizure and the details thereof.
(6) Where, in pursuance of the commission of any offence under this Act, any vessel is pursued beyond the limits of the offshore area, the powers conferred on an authorised officer by this section may be exercised beyond such limits in the circumstances and to the extent recognised by international law and State practice.
(7) Every person to whom an order or warrant is issued or given by virtue of the powers conferred by this section shall be legally bound to comply with such order or warrant.
Explanation.-For the purposes of this section,-
(i) "authorised officer" means an officer of the Central Government notified as such in the Official Gazette, by the Central Government;
(ii) "warrant" means a warrant issued by the Judicial Magistrate or the Metropolitan Magistrate, as the case may be, within whose jurisdiction the place, where the warrant is to be executed, is situated.