JUDGEMENT

M.B.SHAH - (1.)The only question which requires determination in this revision application is whether the Superintendent Central Excise who has investigated the case is required to file complaint or submit charge-sheet before the Magistrate for the offences alleged to have been committed by the petitioner-accused under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 hereinafter referred to as the Act.
(2.)Learned Counsel Mr. Barot submitted that under Sec. 53 of the Act the powers of an officer-in-charge of a Police Station for investigation of the offences under the Act are given to the Central Excise Officers the Custom Officers and other officers. Therefore respondent No. 1 is required to submit charge-sheet after completion of the investigation and he cannot file private complaint before the learned Magistrate. For emphasising his submission he submitted that under different provisions of the Act different types of powers are conferred upon the officers or other persons mentioned therein. The learned Counsel heavily relied upon Sec. 53 which empowers the Central Government of the State Government to invest any officer mentioned therein with the powers of an officer-in-charge of a Police Station for the investigation of the offences under the Act and be submitted that the said officer for all purposes is an officer-in-charge of a Police Station for investigation or is a Police Officer for the purposes of this Act and hence he has to file report or charge-sheet as provided under Sec. 169 or Sec. 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code and he cannot file the private criminal complaint. He also referred to Sec. 41(1) of the Act which empowers the Magistrate to issue warrant for arrest or search warrant as provided in the Section. Under sub-sec. (2) of Sec. 41 the officer of a gazetted rank as mentioned therein is entitled to authorise any officer subordinate to him but superior in rank to a peon sepoy or a constable to arrest or search a building conveyance or place. Section 42 empowers certain officers or certain persons being officers superior in rank to a peon sepoy or constable to enter into search any building conveyance or place seize tender and arrest any person whom he has reason to believe to have committed any offence punishable under Chapter IV relating to any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance. He also referred to Sec. 52 sub-sec. (3) wherein it is provided that every person arrested and article seized under sub-sec. (2) of Sec 41 Sec. 42 Sec. 43 or Sec. 44 shall be forwarded without unnecessary delay to:
(a) the officer-in-charge of the nearest Police Station or

(b) the officer empowered under Sec. 53. It is his contention that the officer-in-charge of the nearest Police Station and the officer empowered under Sec. 53 are having same powers and therefore they are required to follow the same procedure. He therefore submitted that as officer-in-charge of the nearest Police Station is required to submit report either under Sec. 169 or Sec. 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code the officer empowered under Sec. 53 also should follow the same procedure.

(3.)For deciding this question if we refer to Sec. 53 of the Act it is abundantly clear that the powers which are conferred on any officer as specified in Sec. 53(1) or (2) are the powers for the investigation of the offences under the Act but he is not an officer-in-charge of Police Station or he is not deemed to be an officer-in-charge of a Police Station. Section 53 of the Act reads as under:
"53 (1) The Central Government after consultation with the State Government may by notification published in the Official Gazette invest any officer of the department of Central Excise Narcotics Customs Revenue Intelligence of Border Security Force or any class of such officers with the powders of an officer-in-charge of a Police Station for the Investigation of the offences under this Act. "

(2) The State Government may by notification published in the Official Gazette invest any officer of the department of Drug Control Revenue or Excise or any class of such officers with the powers of an officer-in-charge of a Police Station for the investigation of offences under this Act."
(Emphasis added) Section 53(1) empowers the Central Government after consultation with the State Government to invest any officer of the department of Central Excise Narcotics Customs Revenue Intelligence or Border Security Force or any class of such officers with the powers of an officer-in-charge of a Police Station for purposes of investigating the offences under the Act. Same is the position with sub-sec. (2) which empowers the State Government to invest any officer of the department of Drugs Control Revenue or Exercise or any class of such officers with the similar power. But this section nowhere provides that the said officer shall be deemed to be an officer-in-charge of a Police Station or that he shall be considered to be an officer-in-charge of a Police Station for the purposes of this Act. Under the Criminal Procedure Code a Police Officer can submit a charge-sheet under Sec. 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code or his report under Sec. 169 of the Code. All that Sec. 53 provides is that for the purpose of his inquiry the officer empowered under Sec. 53 shall have the powers of an officer-in-charge of Police Station at the time of investigating the offences under this Act. Section 37 of the Act provides that every offence punishable under this Act is a cognizable offence. Therefore the officer empowered under Sec. 53 shall have all the powers of an officer-in-charge of a Police Station investigating a cognizable case. But these powers are only limited for the purpose of investigation and it does not include the power of filing charge-sheet under Sec. 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Further Custom Officers or other officers who investigate the offence under the Act are not Police Officers.
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