Jharkhand High Court: An officer of Railway Protection Force can conduct enquiry without search warrant

Jharkhand high court law insider in
Jharkhand high court law insider in

Shivani Gadhavi

Published On: January 29, 2022 AT 17:50 IST

The Jharkhand High Court on January 24, 2022 observed that an officer of the Railway Protection Force is authorized to conduct an enquiry/house search under Railway Property (Unlawful Protection) Act as stated under Section 165 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, without a search warrant.

The Jharkhand High Court Bench of Justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary was hearing a Petition that challenged the conviction of the Petitioners. The Petitioners were accused of stealing properties of the Railways and were convicted by under Section 3(a) of the Railway Property (Unlawful Protection) Act, by a Trial Court. The same conviction order was confirmed by Additional Sessions Judge when challenged by the Petitioners.

The Petitioners therefore moved to the High Court alleging that their conviction was not maintainable as the necessary search warrant required under Section 10 of the Railway Properties (Unlawful Possession) Act, for enquiry was not taken by the Police and the Railway Protection Force.

The Jharkhand High Court Bench noted that “as per the provisions of Section 165 of Cr.P.C., the Officer-in-Charge of the Police Station or any Investigating Officer not below the rank of Sub-Inspector can conduct the house search without a search warrant during the investigation of any case.”

The Jharkhand High Court Single-Judge Bench in light of all the facts stated that “This Court finds that both the learned courts below have recorded concurrent findings and have passed well-reasoned judgments.”

The Jharkhand High Court Bench hence, dismissed the plea of the Petitioners and cancelled all bail bonds that were furnished by the Petitioners, while ordering that a copy of the current order of the High Court should be communicated to the Lower Courts concerned, via fax/email.

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