17. Search of persons –
(1) If an authority, authorised in this behalf by the Central Government by general or special order, has reason to believe that any person has secreted about his person or in anything under his possession, ownership or control any record or proceeds of crime which may be useful for or relevant to any proceedings under this Act, he may search that person and seize such record or property which may be useful for or relevant to any proceedings under this Act.
(2) Where an authority is about to search any person, he shall, if such person so requires, take such person within twenty-four hours to the nearest Gazetted Officer superior in rank to him or a Magistrate:
Provided that the period of twenty-four hours shall exclude the time necessary for the journey undertaken to take such person to the nearest Gazetted Officer, superior in rank to him, or Magistrate’s Court.
(3) If the requisition under sub-section (2) is made, the authority shall not detain the person for more than twenty-four hours prior to taking him before the Gazetted Officer superior in rank to him or the Magistrate referred to in that sub-section:
Provided that the period of twenty-four hours shall exclude the time necessary for the journey from the place of detention to the office of the Gazetted Officer, superior in rank to him, or the Magistrate’s Court.
(4) The Gazetted Officer or the Magistrate before whom any such person is brought shall, if he sees no reasonable ground for search, forthwith discharge such person but otherwise shall direct that search be made.
(5) Before making the search under sub-section (1) or sub-section (4) the authority shall call upon two or more persons to attend and witness the search, and the search shall be made in the presence of such persons.
(6) The authority shall prepare a list of record or property seized in the course of the search and obtain the signatures of the witnesses on the list.
(7) No female shall be searched by any one excepting a female.
(8) The authority shall record the statement of the person searched under sub-section (1) or sub-section (4) in respect of the records or proceeds of crime found or seized in the course of the search:
Provided that no search of any person shall be made unless, in relation to an offence under-
(a) Part I, Part II, Part III or Part V of the Schedule, a report has been forwarded to a Magistrate under section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974); or (b) Part IV of the Schedule, a police report or a complaint has been filed for taking cognizance of an offence by the Special Court constituted under sub-section (1) of section 36 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (61 of 1985).
(9) The authority seizing any record or property under section (1) shall, within a period of thirty days from such seizure, file an application requesting for retention of such record or property, before the Adjudicating Authority.