May 26, 2024
Home » Section 94 to 110 of BNSS: PROCESS TO COMPEL THE PRODUCTION OF THINGS
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This article has been written by Beula Grace Kadiyala 4th year of my BBA LLB at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad.

INTRODUCTION

Chapter VII of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 outlines the processes to compel the production of documents and other items deemed necessary for various legal proceedings under the Sanhita. This chapter provides detailed procedures for summons to produce, issuance of search warrants, and miscellaneous provisions related to search and seizure activities.

Section 94 Summons to produce document or other thing.

Section 94 of authorizes courts or police officers to issue written orders, either physical or electronic, compelling individuals to produce documents, electronic communications, or other items necessary for legal proceedings. Individuals must comply by attending and producing the specified items at the designated time and place. Exceptions exist for certain documents under other laws and those in postal custody. This section ensures a structured process for obtaining essential evidence while maintaining legal standards.

Section 95 Procedure as to letters.

Section 95 of pertains to the handling of documents, parcels, or items in the custody of postal authorities when they are needed for investigations, inquiries, trials, or other legal proceedings under the Sanhita. It authorizes district magistrates, chief judicial magistrates, courts of session, or high courts to require postal authorities to deliver such documents or items to specified individuals or to detain them pending further orders from the respective magistrates or courts. This section ensures that necessary materials held by postal authorities can be accessed and utilized in legal processes outlined by the Sanhita, thereby facilitating thorough investigations and fair trials.

Section 96 When search-warrant may be issued.

Section 96 of pertains to the issuance of search warrants by courts when certain conditions are met. It grants courts the authority to issue search warrants under several circumstances:

  • when a person addressed with a summons or requisition is believed unlikely to produce the required documents or items;
  • when the location of the documents or items is unknown; or
  • when a general search or inspection is deemed necessary for the purposes of an inquiry, trial, or other proceeding under the Sanhita.

The section outlines the procedures for specifying the scope of the search in the warrant and restricts the issuance of search warrants to specific judicial authorities. Overall, Section 96 provides a framework for obtaining search warrants to aid investigations and legal proceedings under the Sanhita, ensuring that searches are conducted lawfully and with appropriate judicial oversight.

Section 97 Search of place suspected to contain stolen property, forged documents, etc.

Section 97 of authorizes magistrates and police officers to conduct searches of premises suspected to harbor stolen property or objectionable articles. Upon suspicion, officers can enter the premises, seize any suspected items, and take necessary actions, including arrests. This section aims to address situations involving criminal activities or the storage of illicit items by providing legal authority for search and seizure operations.

Section 98 Power to declare certain publications forfeited and to issue search-warrants for same.

Section 98 of addresses the forfeiture of publications containing punishable content under specified sections of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023. It grants authority to the State Government, upon identifying such content in newspapers, books, or other documents, to declare every copy of the issue forfeited to the government. This declaration, accompanied by a notification stating the grounds, enables police officers to seize these publications wherever found in India. Additionally, magistrates are authorized to issue warrants allowing officers to search premises suspected of harboring these publications. The section ensures a mechanism for addressing objectionable content while upholding legal standards and preserving individual rights.

Section 99 Application to High Court to set aside declaration of forfeiture.

Section 99 of outlines the procedure for challenging declarations of forfeiture made under Section 98 of the Sanhita. It permits any person with an interest in a newspaper, book, or other document subject to forfeiture to apply to the High Court within two months of the declaration’s publication in the Official Gazette. The High Court, composed of a Special Bench if necessary, hears and determines the application. The section allows for the presentation of evidence, including copies of the publication in question, and empowers the High Court to set aside the declaration if it finds that the publication did not contain the punishable matter specified in Section 98. This provision ensures a mechanism for individuals to contest forfeiture declarations and seek redress in cases where they believe their publications have been wrongly targeted.

Section 100 Search for persons wrongfully confined.

Section 100 of authorizes District Magistrates, Sub-divisional Magistrates, or Magistrates of the first class to issue search warrants when there is reason to believe that a person is wrongfully confined. These warrants empower designated persons to search for the confined individual and, upon discovery, promptly present them before a Magistrate for appropriate action. This provision ensures the swift intervention of authorities in cases of suspected unlawful confinement, safeguarding individuals’ rights and promoting prompt resolution of such situations within the legal framework of the Sanhita.

Section 101 Power to compel restoration of abducted females.

Section 101 of empowers District Magistrates, Sub-divisional Magistrates, or Magistrates of the first class to address complaints of abduction or unlawful detention of women or female children under the age of eighteen for unlawful purposes. Upon receiving such complaints, these magistrates can issue orders for the immediate restoration of the affected individuals to their liberty or lawful guardians, using necessary force if required. This provision underscores the Sanhita’s commitment to protecting the rights and safety of vulnerable individuals, particularly women and children, by swiftly addressing instances of abduction or unlawful detention and ensuring their prompt release from such circumstances.

Section 102 Direction, etc., of search-warrants.

Section 102 of stipulates that certain provisions relating to search warrants issued under this chapter also apply to warrants issued for the search of places suspected of containing stolen property, forged documents, or other objectionable articles. It mandates that before conducting a search, the officer or person executing the warrant must call upon two or more independent and respectable inhabitants of the locality to witness the search. Additionally, the occupant of the place to be searched or a representative must be allowed to attend during the search, and a list of all seized items must be prepared and signed by the witnesses. This section ensures transparency and accountability in search operations, safeguarding the rights of both the authorities and the occupants of the searched premises within the framework of the Sanhita.

Section 103 Persons in charge of closed place to allow search.

Section 103 of outlines procedures for conducting searches and inspections in closed premises. It mandates that individuals residing in or in charge of closed premises must allow officers executing a search warrant free ingress and provide reasonable facilities for the search. If entry is denied, officers may proceed as per the procedures outlined in Section 44. The section also specifies guidelines for searching individuals suspected of concealing items and mandates the presence of witnesses during searches. Failure to comply with search procedures outlined in Section 103 may result in legal consequences, as specified in Section 220 of the Sanhita. Overall, Section 103 ensures that searches are conducted lawfully, with due regard for the rights of individuals and proper oversight.

Section 104 Disposal of things found in search beyond jurisdiction.

Section 104 of addresses the execution of search warrants issued by courts beyond their local jurisdiction. When items for which a search is conducted are found at a place outside the issuing court’s jurisdiction, such items, along with a prepared list, are promptly taken before either the issuing court or the nearest magistrate with jurisdiction. This section ensures that search warrants issued by courts are effectively executed, even when items are found outside their immediate jurisdiction, facilitating seamless legal processes and ensuring the proper handling of evidence.

Section 105 Recording of search and seizure through audio-video electronic means.

Section 105 of mandates the use of audio-video electronic means, preferably cell phones, to record the process of conducting searches, seizures, and the preparation of lists of seized items. Police officers are required to promptly forward these recordings to the District Magistrate, Sub-divisional Magistrate, or Judicial Magistrate of the first class. This provision enhances transparency and accountability in search and seizure activities, ensuring that proper procedures are followed and providing valuable evidence for legal proceedings.

Section 106 Power of police officer to seize certain property.

Section 106 of grants police officers the authority to seize property suspected to be stolen or associated with criminal activities. Upon seizure, the officer must report it promptly, either to their superior if subordinate or directly to the magistrate having jurisdiction. The section outlines procedures for handling seized property, including reporting to the magistrate and, if necessary, transferring custody to a designated person under a bond. In cases of property subject to decay or low value, expedited procedures for sale are provided. Overall, Section 106 facilitates the lawful seizure and management of suspected criminal property, ensuring compliance with legal standards and procedural fairness.

Section 107 Attachment, forfeiture or restoration of property.

Section 107 authorizes police officers, with approval from higher authorities, to seize property suspected of deriving from criminal activities. They may apply to the Court or Judicial Magistrate for attachment, initiating a process where affected individuals can show cause within fourteen days. Upon court determination of the property as proceeds of crime, it may be attached and distributed to affected parties or forfeited to the Government if no claimants emerge. This section strengthens crime-fighting efforts by enabling asset seizure with judicial oversight and due process.

Section 108 Magistrate may direct search in his presence.

Section 108 of grants any magistrate the authority to order a search in their presence of any place for which they can issue a search warrant. This provision empowers magistrates to directly oversee and authorize searches, ensuring compliance with legal procedures and safeguarding against potential misuse of search warrants. By enabling magistrates to be actively involved in search operations, Section 108 enhances transparency, accountability, and adherence to due process within the legal framework of the Sanhita.

Section 109 Power to impound document, etc., produced.

Section 109 of grants courts the authority to impound any document or item produced before them under the Sanhita. This section enables courts to retain control over documents or items that are deemed relevant to legal proceedings, ensuring their safekeeping and preventing their unauthorized removal or tampering. By empowering courts with this prerogative, Section 109 contributes to the maintenance of the integrity of legal processes and facilitates the fair and just resolution of cases under the Sanhita.

Section 110 Reciprocal arrangements regarding processes.

Section 110 of enables courts in the Sanhita’s territories to issue summons, warrants, or search warrants for execution outside their jurisdiction. It allows for cooperation with courts in other Indian states or areas as well as with courts, judges, or magistrates in foreign countries with which arrangements have been made by the Central Government for service or execution of legal processes. Additionally, it mandates the execution of such processes received from other jurisdictions as if they were issued locally, ensuring smooth legal proceedings and cooperation across territorial boundaries, thereby bolstering the efficacy of law enforcement and justice administration.

CONCLUSION

Chapter VII of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 establishes procedures for obtaining crucial evidence necessary for legal proceedings. It covers summonses, search warrants, and forfeiture mechanisms, ensuring adherence to legal standards and individual rights. The chapter provides clear guidelines for handling documents and items, empowers magistrates to authorize searches, and incorporates measures for transparency and fairness.

Moreover, Chapter VII aims to enhance accountability in law enforcement by incorporating provisions for challenging declarations of forfeiture and recording search activities. It outlines procedures for seizing suspected stolen property and facilitating legal processes beyond the Sanhita’s territories through reciprocal arrangements. Overall, the chapter underscores the Sanhita’s commitment to effective law enforcement while upholding individual rights and maintaining the rule of law, contributing to a framework that promotes security, fairness, and accountability.


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