Monday, 16 November 2020

Supreme court: Officers Authorised To Investigate NDPS Cases Are 'Police Officers' And Confessional Statements Made To Them Are Not Admissible

 Thus, to arrive at the conclusion that a confessional statement made before an officer designated Under Section 42 or Section 53 can be the basis to convict a person under the NDPS Act, without any non obstante Clause doing away with Section 25 of the Evidence Act, and without any safeguards, would be a direct infringement of the constitutional guarantees contained in Articles 14, 20(3) and 21 of the Constitution of India.


153. The judgment in Kanhaiyalal (supra) then goes on to follow Raj Kumar Karwal (supra) in paragraphs 44 and 45. For the reasons stated by us hereinabove, both these judgments do not state the law correctly, and are thus overruled by us. Other judgments that expressly refer to and rely upon these judgments, or upon the principles laid down by these judgments, also stand overruled for the reasons given by us.


154. On the other hand, for the reasons given by us in this judgment, the judgments of Noor Aga (supra) and Nirmal Singh Pehlwan v. Inspector, Customs MANU/SC/0957/2011 : (2011) 12 SCC 298 are correct in law.


155. We answer the reference by stating:


(i) That the officers who are invested with powers Under Section 53 of the NDPS Act are "police officers" within the meaning of Section 25 of the Evidence Act, as a result of which any confessional statement made to them would be barred under the provisions of Section 25 of the Evidence Act, and cannot be taken into account in order to convict an Accused under the NDPS Act.


(ii) That a statement recorded Under Section 67 of the NDPS Act cannot be used as a confessional statement in the trial of an offence under the NDPS Act.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Criminal Appeal Nos. 152/2013, 

Decided On: 29.10.2020

 Tofan Singh Vs. State of Tamil Nadu

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

Indira Banerjee, Rohinton Fali Nariman and Navin Sinha, JJ.

Authored By : Rohinton Fali Nariman, Indira Banerjee

Rohinton Fali Nariman, J.

Citation: MANU/SC/0797/2020

Read full Judgment here: Click here


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