Report No. 24
29. Section 5(3)-
Section 5(3) authorises the Commission or any authorised gazetted officer to enter any building or place where any books of account or other documents relating to the subject-matter of the inquiry may be found and to seize such books or documents, subject to the provisions of sections 102 and 103 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, in so far as they may be applicable. In Narayandoss v. T. Neeladri Rao, AIR 1959 AP 148 (152) already referred to,1 an argument was advanced that this provision conferred an uncontrolled and arbitrary power of entry and seizure on Commissions of Inquiry in general.
Further, in that case the Commission had been appointed to inquire into the wide-spread mismanagement of the properties of Hindu religious and charitable trusts created for public purposes and it was therefore contended that there was also a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution. The Court pointed out that the sub-section gave no such sweeping powers, but merely authorised the specified officers to enter buildings or places where the relevant books or documents could be found, and the power of seizure was hedged in by several restrictions or safeguards, including those contained in sections 102 and 103 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. It is not necessary to disturb the section on this point.
1. See para. 25, supra.