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The Apex Court today ruled that statements recorded by officers of central and state agencies, appointed under the NDPS Act would not be treated as a confession.
The court observed that such officers are police officers therefore , any ‘confessional statement’ recorded by them under Section 67 of the NDPS Act would not be considered valid in a court. Section 67 of the NDPS Act, says that, any officer authorized by the Centre or a state government may during an investigation call for information “from any person for the purpose of satisfying himself whether there has been any contravention of the provisions of this Act or any rule or order made thereunder”. The officer may also “require any person to produce or deliver any document or thing useful or relevant to the enquiry” or examine any person acquainted with the case.
Justices RF Nariman and Navin Sinha held in favor, while Justice Indira Banerjee gave a dissenting opinion. Thus, the majority judgement ruled that such statements would be affected by Section 25 of the Indian Evidence Act, according to which any confession made to a police officer shall not be proved against a person accused of any offence. The judgment also held that though these statements do not qualify as admissible evidence, the prosecution can still use them for other purposes.