Empowered officer legally obliged to apprise the accused of his right to be searched before a Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate under NDPS Act: SC

The Supreme Court of India held that the empowered officer, acting under Section 50 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (for short ‘the NDPS Act’) is legally obliged to apprise the accused of his right to be searched before a Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate and such a procedure is mandatory under the provisions of the NDPS Act.
“We are of the view that there is an obligation on the part of the empowered officer to inform the accused or the suspect of the existence of such a right to be searched before a Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate, if so required by him. Only if the suspect does not choose to exercise the right in spite of apprising him of his right, the empowered officer could conduct the search on the body of the person”, the Court said.

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