Report No. 155
Q.8. Whether you think it necessary that the duty should be cast upon the forest and revenue officers to report the wild growth of cannobis and opium plants on forest and other government land and to take steps for its destruction, as the State Government may direct?
Q.9. Do you subscribe to the view that section 50 of the Act requires amendment?
Q.10. Do you agree that in view of the landmark judgment in State of Punjab v. Balbir Singh, AIR 1994 SC 1872, section 50 of the Act should be redrafted as under by incorporating suitable amendment:-
"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 inform such person that he has a right to be searched in the presence of a gazetted officer or the magistrate referred to in section 41, and if such person so requires, take such person without unnecessary delay to the nearest Gazetted officer of any of the departments (or the nearest magistrate referred to in section 41 of the Act, as the empowered officer may deem fit):
Provided that the Central Government may specify the form of notice to be given to such person, informing him that he has a right to be searched in the presence of a gazetted officer or magistrate, for the purpose of this sub-section.
(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 sub-section (1) (or if the empowered officer, for reasons to be recorded in writing, deems it necessary to summon the gazetted officer or the magistrate referred above to the spot, he may requisition the services of such gazetted officer or the magistrate, and it shall be the duty of such gazetted officer or the magistrate, as the case may be to the spot without delay).
(3) The Gazetted officer or the Magistrate before whom any such person is brought (or whose services have been requisitioned) shall, if he sees no reasonable ground for search, forthwith discharge the person, but otherwise shall direct that search be made.
(3A) The search shall then be made in the presence of the gazetted officer or the magistrate, as the case may be, who may associate two independent witnesses, if available, and shall take two samples and after sealing the samples and the recovered articles, keep the seal intact with him; and hand over the samples, recovered articles and the sample of the seal used to the empowered officer.
(4) No female shall be searcher by anyone excepting a female."
Q.11. Whether the empowered officer should be given discretion that in case he is of the opinion, for reasons to be recorded in writing, that it is not practicable to take the person to be searched to the nearest magistrate or the gazetted officer; or the services of such magistrate or the gazetted officer cannot be requisitioned, the empowered officer may conduct search himself in the presence of two independent witness?
Q.12. Do you suggest that new section should be inserted for the use of controlled delivery system by certain officers, to trace the onward movement of the consignment under supervision and to apprehend, arrest and prosecute all the offenders, including the persons taking delivery of the consignment of illicit drugs or substances at the destination?
Q.13. Do you agree with the suggestion that the empowered officer, who commences the investigation of a case under the provisions of this Act, shall be incharge of the case till investigation is complete as far as possible?