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Search of place suspected to contain stolen property, forged documents, etc (Section 94 of CrPc)

(a) To enter, with such assistance as may be required, such place;

(b) To search the same in the manner specified in the warrant;

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(c) To take possession of any property or article therein found which he reasonably suspects to be stolen property or objectionable article to which this section applies;

(d) To convey such property or article before a Magistrate, or to guard the same on the spot until the offender is taken before a Magistrate, or otherwise to dispose of it in some place of safety;

(e) to take into custody and carry before a Magistrate every person found in such place who appears to have been privy to the deposit, sale or production of any such property or article knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect it to be stolen property or, as the case may be, objectionable article to which this section applies.

According to section 20(2) of the Code, the objectionable article to which this section applies are,—

(a) Counterfeit coin;

(b) pieces of metal made in contravention of the Metal Tokens Act, 1889, or brought into India in contravention of any notification for the time being in force under section 11 of the Customs Act, 1962;

(c) Counterfeit currency notes; counterfeit stamps;

(d) Forged documents;

(e) False seals;

(f) Obscene objects referred to in section 292 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860;

(g) Instruments or materials used for the production of any of the articles mentioned in clauses (a) to (f).

The essential requirement of section 94 of the Code is that there must be some allegation or information which the Magistrate believes that a particular place is used for the deposit or sale of stolen property or for the manufacture of forged documents, false seals, counterfeit coins, etc.

Before the issue of search-warrant under section 94, the Magistrate has to make an enquiry in the manner he thinks fit and on the basis of his enquiry, he must have reason to believe that the property is a stolen property.

The sine qua non for issuing the search warrant and production of the property is that the magistrate must have reason to believe and satisfy that property is stolen property. Under section 94, a magistrate is not required to record his reasons for issuing the search-warrant.

The words used in this section like ‘stolen property’, ‘counterfeit currency notes’, ‘forged documents’, ‘coin’, etc. are defined in the Indian Penal Code. 1860.

Obscene objects referred to in section 292 of the Indian Penal Code are not defined. However, they refer to books, articles or stories which deprave and corrupt by reading it or might arouse impure and treacherous thoughts in their minds in whose hands they fall.

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