These subjects are dealt with in Cr.P.C. in Chapter VII in sections 91-105. If a court is of the opinion that a certain document or other thing is necessary for the purposes of the trial of the case, it may issue summons under section 91 to the person in whose possession such document or thing is believed to be, requiring him to produce the same before the court at the time and place mentioned in the summons. Such person is not under an obligation to attend personally. He may send the same through some other person.
The SHO of a police station also can issue a written order to a person to produce a document or thing believed by him to be necessary for the purposes of any investigation or enquiry. If the court is of the opinion that the person against whom a summon to produce a thing has been issued would not produce the same or if it is not known as to in whose possession such thing is lying, then the court may issue a search warrant to search the place where the desired document or thing is believed to be available (Section 93).
It is the duty of the police to search/inspect the place or part strictly according to its description in the search warrant and not beyond. A Judicial magistrate or SDM can issue a search warrant authorising any police officer above the rank of a constable to enter a premises and search for stolen goods, objectionable articles etc. as detailed in Section 94.
The search procedure to be followed by a person ( including police officer) executing the search warrant is prescribed in Section 100 Cr.P.C. –
- Before making search of a premises, he must call, for witnessing the search, 2 or more independent and respectable inhabitants of the said locality or of any other locality if no such person from that locality is willing to be a witness to the search.
- The search must be made in their presence. (iii) A list of the things seized during search and the places where these were found, is required to be prepared by the officer and must be got signed by such witnesses.
- Such witnesses can not be compelled by the police to attend the court as a witness, however, court may specially summon them but only if required.
- The occupant of the place or any person on his behalf must be permitted to attend during search.
- A copy of the list prepared as above and signed by the said witnesses must be delivered to him.
- If any person in/about such premises is reasonably suspected of concealing about his person any article for which search is to be made, then body of such person may also be searched. A list of things taken from his possession should be prepared and copy thereof must be given to him. If a woman is so searched, she shall be searched by another woman with strict regard to decency.