STATE OF ORISSA Vs. LAXMAN JENA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
STATE OF ORISSA
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(1.)On a specific information received by him, Shri Priya Ranjan Patra- PW-5, recorded the information in the station diary, entry no. 57 and processed to house of the respondent for effecting the recovery of opium, allegedly concealed therein. The house of the accused was searched between 2 a. m. and 3 a. m. in the presence of the witnesses and opium total weighing 2.690 kgs. recovered. After compliance of the legal formalities, the contraband was seized and the accused arrested. The trial court after recording evidence found the respondent guilty for the commission of offence punishable under Section 18 of the narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (for short, 'the Act') and sentenced him rigorous imprisonment for ten years besides paying a fine of Rs. 1 lakh and in default of payment of fine to undergo further R. I for two years and 6 months.
(2.)Not satisfied with the judgment of the trial court, the respondent filed criminal appeal no. 32 of 1993 in the High Court, which was allowed vide the judgment impugned and he was acquitted of the charge. The High Court found that the mandatory provisions of section 42 and section 50 of the Act had been violated.
(3.)Mr. R. S. Jena, learned counsel appearing for the appellant-state has submitted that the High Court committed an error of law by holding that as the provisions of section 50 of the Act were violated, the respondent was entitled to be acquitted. It is contended that in the facts and circumstances of the case, section 50 of the act was not at all applicable, so there was no question of its violation. Section 50 of the Act deals with the conditions under which a search of a person can be conducted. It does not refer to the search of a house or any other place. As admittedly the person of the respondent was not subjected to search, the provisions of section 50 of the Act were not applicable. The High Court, therefore, committed a mistake of law in holding the violation of section 50 of the Act in the instant case.
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