Lawstreet Journal

Officers designated u/s-53 of NDPS Act, 1985 can exercise all investigative powers under CrPC: SC

Lawstreet Journal 31 Oct 2020 11:17pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Officers designated u/s-53 of NDPS Act, 1985 can exercise all investigative powers under CrPC: SC

The Supreme Court in the case TOFAN SINGH vs. STATE OF TAMIL NADU said that all the Officers designated u/s-53 of NDPS Act, 1985 have the same investigating powers as the powers vested on officers under The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 including the power to file charge-sheet while investigating any offense under NDPS Act.


The court with a 2:1 ratio overruled the view of Raj Kumar Karwal V. Union of India (1990) 2 SCC 409 where the court rejected the contentions that an officer designated u/s-53 of the Act as all the power of officer under CrPC including filing a charge-sheet.

It was held that the Act has nothing in its provisions which can express that it desires to vest the officers appointed u/s-53 there is nothing in the provisions of the Act to show that the legislature desired to vest in the officers appointed under Section 53 of the Act, all the powers of chapter XII, including the power to submit a report under Section 173 of the Code.

The court also rejected the contention that the “complaint” referred to in section 36A (1) (d) refers only to section 59 of the NDPS Act. The court also observed that in case Raj Kumar Karwal did not properly appreciate the distinctions that arise between the investigative powers of officers who are designated in the statute is primarily meant for revenue or railway purposes, against officers who are designated under section 53 of NDPS Act.

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Tagged: NDPS  
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