Advocates Are Not Above The Law: Tripura High Court






Case Name: Sri Bhaskar Deb Vs State of Tripura

The bench of Acting Chief Justice T. Amarnath Goud and Justice T Arindam Lodh of Tripura High Court while refusing the action against police officer who raid the house of the lawyer-couple in search of the accused observed that the police officer is authorized to search a place in order to arrest the person under section 47 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code).

The bench also observed that the section 165 of CrPC specially empower police to make such searches without seeking a search warrant, provided he records the emergent reasons that necessitated so.

“This court is of the considered view that no doubt an Advocate has to protect his client and client’s interest is paramount to the Advocate. But at the same time, it cannot be brushed away that the petitioners being Advocates are the responsible citizens and have responsibility to co-operate with the investigation agency. They are not above law. Advocates are part and parcel of justice delivery system”.

The bench noted that police has secret information regarding one of the accused person to be available in the house of the applicant.

The petitioner has argued mainly on the points that whether the police can search the house of an advocate who is defending his clients to cause arrest of the accused persons, and whether the police can search the chamber and residence of an Advocate without any search warrant or authorization to cause arrest of his client.

The petitioner has further argued that the police without issuing any notice under has raided his house, the petitioner has further argued that the respondent no. 7 has totally violated the legal provisions relating to the said search, particularly section 100 of the Cr.P.C. Lastly, the petitioner has submitted that the petitioner had issued notice to respondents asking to take legal action against respondent no. 5 and 7, since no action has been taken and thus the petitioner got compelled to file this writ petition seeking certain reliefs including monetary reliefs claiming compensation of Rs. 1,00,00,000/- for causing damage to his reputation, dignity, goodwill and mental suffering.

Learned PP for the police officer has submitted that search has been conducted following the mandatory provisions of law and there was no infringement of the right to privacy of the petitioners. The allegations which were made by the petitioners are vague, very much generalized and not at all substantiated by anything worthy to be called an evidence. The investigating agency was chasing smugglers dealing with Narcotic Drugs and were having information that they are in the house of the petitioners. NDPS Act (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance) allows to enter and search without warrant. No fundamental right of the petitioners is breached and consequently no question of enforcing a fundamental right arises.

The Bench ordered that “Apart from other reasons indicated above, both the writ petitions are devoid of merits, and under Article of 226 of the Constitution of India the reliefs claimed herein cannot be granted. The writ petitions are liable to be dismissed, and accordingly they are dismissed.

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