TOFAN SINGH Vs. STATE OF TAMIL NADU
LAWS(SC)-2020-10-54
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on October 29,2020

Tofan Singh Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF TAMIL NADU Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

STATE OF BOMBAY V. KATHI KALU OGHAD AND ORS. [REFERRED TO]
MOHAN LAL V. STATE OF PUNJAB [REFERRED TO]
M P SHARMA OTHERS VS. SATISH CHANDRA DISTRICT MAGISTRATE DELHI [REFERRED TO]
H N RISHBUD VS. STATE OF DELHI [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH VS. MUBARAK ALI [REFERRED TO]
TAHSILDAR SINGH VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH VS. DEOMAN UPADHYAYA [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF PUNJAB VS. BARKAT RAM [REFERRED TO]
RAJA RAM JAISWAL VS. STATE OF BIHAR [REFERRED TO]
SAHOO VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
AGHNOO NAGESIA VS. STATE OF BIHAR [REFERRED TO]
BADAKU JOTI SVANT ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INDIA INTERVENER VS. STATE OF MYSORE [REFERRED TO]
ILLIAS VS. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS MADRAS [REFERRED TO]
RAMESH CHANDRA MEHTA DATTATRAYA WAMAN CHITNIS FATAKIA PUNAMCHAND RAMLALJI PUNAMCHAND RAMLALJI VS. STATE OF WEST BENGAL :H R SIYAM ASSISTANT COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS BOMBAY:K K GANGULI ASSTT COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS BOMBAY :DADY ADAVJI AMPTJER :V R R GAMES ASSISTANT COLLATOR OF CUSTOMS BOMBAY [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH VS. DURGA PRASAD [REFERRED TO]
NANDINISATPATHY VS. P L DANI [REFERRED TO]
DESH BANDHU GUPTA AND GO VS. DELHI STOCK EXCHANGE ASSOCIATION LIMITED [REFERRED TO]
BALKISHAN A DEVIDAYAL STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA:HARI [REFERRED TO]
K P VARGHESE VS. INCOME TAX OFFICER ERNAKULAM [REFERRED TO]
RAJ KUMAR KARWAL KIRPAL MOHAN VIRMANI VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
KARTAR SINGH KRIPA SHANKAR RAI VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [REFERRED TO]
D K BASU ASHOK K JOHRI VS. STATE OF WEST BENGAL :STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF GUJARAT VS. ANIRUDHSING [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF PUNJAB VS. BALDEV SINGH [REFERRED TO]
ABDUL RASHID VS. STATE OF BIHAR [REFERRED TO]
JOHN THOMAS VS. K JAGADEESAN [REFERRED TO]
A S KRISHNAN VS. STATE OF KERALA [REFERRED TO]
STATE REP VS. V JAYAPAUL [REFERRED TO]
STATE N C T OF DELHI VS. NAVJOT SANDHU ALIAS AFSAN GURU [REFERRED TO]
DIRECTORATE OF REVENUE VS. MOHAMMED NISAR HOLIA [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF HARYANA VS. DINESH KUMAR [REFERRED TO]
KANHAIYALAL VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
NOOR AGA VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [REFERRED TO]
U O I VS. BAL MUKUND [REFERRED TO]
SELVI VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA [REFERRED TO]
VIJAYSINH CHANDUBHA JADEJA VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [REFERRED TO]
NIRMAL SINGH PEHLWAN ALIAS NIMMA VS. INSPECTOR CUSTOMS [REFERRED TO]
TOFAN SINGH VS. STATE OF TAMIL NADU [REFERRED TO]
JUSTICE K.S. PUTTASWAMY (READ.) VS. UNION OF INDIA & ORS. [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

FARHAN SHADAB AHMED SHAIKH VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2021-7-225] [REFERRED TO]
RAHIMBHAI VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(GJH)-2022-3-851] [REFERRED TO]
MANOJ KUMAR BHUYAN VS. STATE OF ORISSA [LAWS(ORI)-2021-7-32] [REFERRED TO]
CHANDAN VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [LAWS(P&H)-2022-1-40] [REFERRED TO]
SURESH VS. STATE OF HARYANA [LAWS(P&H)-2021-7-169] [REFERRED TO]
PARVEEN KUMAR VS. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH [LAWS(HPH)-2021-4-18] [REFERRED TO]
STATE BY (NCB) BENGALURU VS. PALLULABID AHMAD ARIMUTTA [LAWS(SC)-2022-1-102] [REFERRED TO]
ROYDEN HAROLD BUTHELLO VS. STATE OF CHHATTISGARH [LAWS(CHH)-2021-9-6] [REFERRED TO]
KAYUM AHMAD VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [LAWS(BOM)-2021-3-275] [REFERRED TO]
MANOJ VS. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH [LAWS(HPH)-2022-3-57] [REFERRED TO]
DHARMA DEVI VS. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH [LAWS(HPH)-2022-4-19] [REFERRED TO]
JARNAIL SINGH VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [LAWS(P&H)-2022-2-13] [REFERRED TO]
ROYDEN HAROLD BUTHELLO VS. STATE OF CHHATTISGARH [LAWS(CHH)-2022-1-24] [REFERRED TO]
MAHMOOD KURDEYA VS. NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(DLH)-2021-8-136] [REFERRED TO]
EBERA NWANAFORO VS. NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(DLH)-2022-5-284] [REFERRED TO]
NAMAN SHARMA VS. STATE THROUGH NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(DLH)-2022-3-69] [REFERRED TO]
MOHAR SINGH VS. NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(HPH)-2022-4-32] [REFERRED TO]
BHANWARLAL VS. STATE OF RAJASTHAN [LAWS(RAJ)-2022-1-262] [REFERRED TO]
ADITYA AGARWAL SON OF BRIGADIER MOHAN KUMAR AGARWAL VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA [LAWS(KAR)-2021-1-96] [REFERRED TO]
BALA RAM VS. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH [LAWS(HPH)-2022-8-26] [REFERRED TO]
BHARAT CHAUDHARY \ RAJA CHANDRASEKHARAN VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(SC)-2021-12-44] [REFERRED TO]
AGISILAOS DEMETRIADES VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(BOM)-2022-3-170] [REFERRED TO]
JANMOHMMAD VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2021-7-217] [REFERRED TO]
MERCY C. LALHMINGMAWII VS. STATE OF MIZORAM [LAWS(GAU)-2021-12-11] [REFERRED TO]
TAHA TOUFIQ VS. NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(DLH)-2021-10-139] [REFERRED TO]
PARMA RAM VS. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH [LAWS(HPH)-2022-1-29] [REFERRED TO]
RAJPAL SINGH VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(RAJ)-2022-2-132] [REFERRED TO]
AMARJEET SINGH VS. NATIONAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY [LAWS(P&H)-2022-1-53] [REFERRED TO]
HARDIKBHAI ISHWARBHAI PATEL VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2021-10-177] [REFERRED TO]
MUHSIN ALI VS. NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(DLH)-2022-1-35] [REFERRED TO]
GAURAV MENDIRATTA VS. NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(DLH)-2022-2-69] [REFERRED TO]
BITTU SINGH VS. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH [LAWS(HPH)-2022-5-52] [REFERRED TO]
MOHAMMAD SAFI DAR VS. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH [LAWS(HPH)-2022-6-61] [REFERRED TO]
GULSHAN KUMAR VS. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH [LAWS(HPH)-2022-8-12] [REFERRED TO]
JAGAT PRASAD VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-2022-1-30] [REFERRED TO]
AEJAZ ISMAIL SAYED VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(J&K)-2021-8-33] [REFERRED TO]
INTELLIGENCE OFFICER, N. C. B. JAMMU VS. VIJAY KUMAR [LAWS(J&K)-2021-4-3] [REFERRED TO]
RAJAT KUMAR VS. NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(UTN)-2022-8-45] [REFERRED TO]
MANIK DAS VS. NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(CAL)-2022-1-100] [REFERRED TO]
GOPAL TELI VS. STATE OF WEST BENGAL [LAWS(CAL)-2022-7-88] [REFERRED TO]
VIBHOR RANA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(ALL)-2021-12-73] [REFERRED TO]
ARUN KUMAR GOYAY VS. NARCOTICS CONTROL [LAWS(DLH)-2022-3-180] [REFERRED TO]
SANATAN VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2022-6-1689] [REFERRED TO]
MUDDASSAR FAZLURAHEMAN KADRI VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2022-3-345] [REFERRED TO]
MEWALAL BADRILAL KUMAWAT VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2022-2-1384] [REFERRED TO]
PREMALATHA DIVAKAR VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA REP. BY INVESTIGATING OFFICER [LAWS(KAR)-2021-12-99] [REFERRED TO]
BALAK RAM VS. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH [LAWS(HPH)-2022-1-40] [REFERRED TO]
BHUPENDER SINGH VS. NARCOTIC CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(P&H)-2022-1-93] [REFERRED TO]
MAMTA VS. STATE OF DELHI [LAWS(DLH)-2021-9-118] [REFERRED TO]
EJIKE JONAS ORJI VS. NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(DLH)-2022-6-32] [REFERRED TO]
TARA CHAND VS. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH [LAWS(HPH)-2022-8-45] [REFERRED TO]
JASWANT SINGH @ JASSA VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [LAWS(P&H)-2022-5-4] [REFERRED TO]
MD. KHALIK VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(PAT)-2022-5-1] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

R.F.NARIMAN,J. - (1.)These Appeals and Special Leave Petitions arise by virtue of a reference order of a Division Bench of this Court reported as Tofan Singh v. State of Tamil Nadu (2013) 16 SCC 31. The facts in that appeal have been set out in that judgment in some detail, and need not be repeated by us. After hearing arguments from both sides, the Court recorded that the Appellant in Criminal Appeal No.152 of 2013 had challenged his conviction primarily on three grounds, as follows:
"24.1. The conviction is based solely on the purported confessional statement recorded under Section 67 of the NDPS Act which has no evidentiary value inasmuch as:

(a) The statement was given to and recorded by an officer who is to be treated as 'police officer' and is thus, hit by Section 25 of the Evidence Act.

(b) No such confessional statement could be recorded under Section 67 of the NDPS Act. This provision empowers to call for information and not to record such confessional statements. Thus, the statement recorded under this provision is akin to the statement under Section 161 CrPC.

(c) In any case, the said statement having been retracted, it could not have been the basis of conviction and could be used only to corroborate other evidence."

(2.)Under the caption 'Evidentiary value of statement under section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, Act, 1985 ('NDPS Act')', the Court noted the decisions of Raj Kumar Karwal v. Union of India (1990) 2 SCC 409 and Kanhaiyalal v. Union of India (2008) 4 SCC 668, as also certain other judgments, most notably Abdul Rashid v. State of Bihar (2001) 9 SCC 578 and Noor Aga v. State of Punjab (2008) 16 SCC 417, and thereafter came to the conclusion that the NDPS Act, being a penal statute, is in contradistinction to the Customs Act, 1962 and the Central Excise Act, 1944, whose dominant object is to protect the revenue of the State, and that therefore, judgments rendered in the context of those Acts may not be apposite when considering the NDPS Act - see paragraph 33. After then considering a number of other judgments, the referral order states that a re-look into the ratio of Raj Kumar Karwal (supra) and Kanhaiyalal (supra) would be necessary, and has referred the matter to a larger Bench thus:
"41. For the aforesaid reasons, we are of the view that the matter needs to be referred to a larger Bench for reconsideration of the issue as to whether the officer investigating the matter under the NDPS Act would qualify as police officer or not.

42. In this context, the other related issue viz. whether the statement recorded by the investigating officer under Section 67 of the Act can be treated as confessional statement or not, even if the officer is not treated as police officer also needs to be referred to the larger Bench, inasmuch as it is intermixed with a facet of the 1st issue as to whether such a statement is to be treated as statement under Section 161 of the Code or it partakes the character of statement under Section 164 of the Code.

43. As far as this second related issue is concerned we would also like to point out that Mr Jain argued that the provisions of Section 67 of the Act cannot be interpreted in the manner in which the provisions of Section 108 of the Customs Act or Section 14 of the Excise Act had been interpreted by a number of judgments and there is a qualitative difference between the two sets of provisions. Insofar as Section 108 of the Customs Act is concerned, it gives power to the custom officer to summon persons 'to give evidence' and produce documents. Identical power is conferred upon the Central Excise Officer under Section 14 of the Act. However, the wording to Section 67 of the NDPS Act is altogether different. This difference has been pointed out by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Shahid Khan v. Director of Revenue Intelligence [2001 Cri LJ 3183 (AP)]."

(3.)Shri Sushil Kumar Jain, learned Senior Advocate appearing for the Appellants in Criminal Appeal Nos. 152 of 2013; 836 of 2011; 433 of 2014; 77 of 2015 and 1202 of 2017, outlined six issues before us, which really boil down to two issues, namely:
"1. Whether an officer 'empowered under Section 42 of the NDPS Act' and/or 'the officer empowered under Section 53 of the NDPS Act' are 'Police Officers' and therefore statements recorded by such officers would be hit by Section 25 of the Evidence Act; and

2. What is the extent, nature, purpose and scope of the power conferred under Section 67 of the NDPS Act available to and exercisable by an officer under section 42 thereof, and whether power under Section 67 is a power to record confession capable of being used as substantive evidence to convict an accused?"

;


Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.