103. (1) Whenever any place liable to search or inspection under this Chapter is closed, any person residing in, or being in charge of, such place, shall, on demand of the officer or other person executing the warrant, and on production of the warrant, allow him free ingress thereto, and afford all reasonable facilities for a search therein. (2) If ingress into such place cannot be so obtained, the officer or other person executing the warrant may proceed in the manner provided by sub-section (2) of section 44. (3) Where any person in or about such place is reasonably suspected of concealing about his person any article for which search should be made, such person may be searched and if such person is a woman, the search shall be made by another woman with strict regard to decency. (4) Before making a search under this Chapter, the officer or other person about to make it shall call upon two or more independent and respectable inhabitants of the locality in which the place to be searched is situate or of any other locality if no such inhabitant of the said locality is available or is willing to be a witness to the search, to attend and witness the search and may issue an order in writing to them or any of them so to do. (5) The search shall be made in their presence, and a list of all things seized in the course of such search and of the places in which they are respectively found shall be prepared by such officer or other person and signed by such witnesses; but no person
witnessing a search under this section shall be required to attend the Court as a witness of
the search unless specially summoned by it.
(6) The occupant of the place searched, or some person in his behalf, shall, in every
instance, be permitted to attend during the search, and a copy of the list prepared under this
section, signed by the said witnesses, shall be delivered to such occupant or person.
(7) When any person is searched under sub-section (3), a list of all things taken
possession of shall be prepared, and a copy thereof shall be delivered to such person.
(8) Any person who, without reasonable cause, refuses or neglects to attend and
witness a search under this section, when called upon to do so by an order in writing
delivered or tendered to him, shall be deemed to have committed an offence under
section 222 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023.



Advocate Anoop Verma, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh



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