Spread the love
 State Of Rajasthan vs Jag Raj Singh @ Hansa on 29 June, 2016,
(2016) 11 SCC 687
 29 June 2016
Supreme Court of India
State of Rajasthan
 Jag Raj Singh
     Ashok Bhushan, Abhay Manohar Sapre


State Of Rajasthan v/s Jag Raj Singh @ Hansa on 29 June, 2016 is a well-known legal case of the Indian judicial system. This case involves the State of Rajasthan as appellant, and Jag Raj Singh @ Hansa as the respondent. This case emphasizes the significance of adhering to the procedural requirements of the NDPS Act, particularly Sections 42(1), 42(2), and 43. The court’s evaluation of compliance with these sections sets a comprehensive precedent regarding the need to promptly record and disclose information, as well as to conduct searches in accordance with legal requirements.


At 8 p.m. on August 9, 1998, Bhadra’s Station House Officer, Shishupal Singh, received a top-secret report that a jeep car of blue color with the number HR 24-4057 was supposed to arrive and pass through Sirsa, Haryana. Using the aforementioned information, a memo was written and entered  into the Roznamcha. 

That same day, at 8:05 p.m a constable also gave the information to Nohar, the Circle Officer. Thereafter, Hawa Singh and Karam Singh, two independent witnesses, were questioned by the Station House Officer and a few other officers. 

A Jeep HR 24-4057 was observed leaving Sahaba at 10:15 p.m. One driver and two people, identified as Jagraj Singh and Kishan Lal, were reported to be seated. The jeep contained bags. The station house officer notified Jagraj and Krishan Lal and then conducted a search. Inside the jeep, nine bags filled with opium powder were found; the accused did not have the proper authorization or license to use it.

After weighing each bag, two samples of 200 grams each of powdered opium were pulled out. The memo of seizure was composed at the moment. Both of them were placed under arrest. Following the material’s sealing and delivery to the police station, the first information report, FIR No. 291/98, was filed. Both accused parties were charged u/s 8/15 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (which hereinafter referred to as NDPS Act) after the Forensic Science Laboratory in Jaipur submitted a positive report. The prosecution called 12 witnesses, including the Station House Officer, Shishupal Singh, PD-11.   

According to Section 8/15 of the NDPS Act, Kishan Lal and Jagraj Singh were found guilty by the Special Judge for NDPS Cases in Hanumangarh, Rajasthan. In the May 31, 2000 ruling, they were  sentenced to a rigorous 12-year prison term plus a fine of Rs. 1,20,000/-each. In addition, they faced an additional year of rigorous imprisonment if the fine remained unpaid. 

In an attempt to have their conviction overturned, the accused filed appeals, with Kishan Lal submitting Single Bench Criminal Appeal No. 397 of 2000. Single Bench Criminal Appeal No. 98 of 2001 was filed by Jangraj Singh, also known as Hansa. Both appeals  were granted by the High Court of Rajasthan at Jodhpur. The Special Judge’s conviction and sentence were overturned by the High Court, which cleared the accused of all charges brought against them U/S 8/15 of the NDPS Act. The acquittal was based on the ground that Section 42(2) was not followed, no reason of belief as outlined by the proviso was recorded in this particular case, the act of search was carried out after sundown which is against the provisions of Section 42(2), the material sample was improperly sealed and neither the material sample nor the seal sample was deposited in the stock house. The State of Rajasthan appealed the acquittals in 2006.  


  • Whether the High Court has made an error in acquitting the accused ones?
  • Whether the High Court’s findings about the non-compliance with Sections 42(1) and 42(2) were adequately supported by evidence?
  • Whether or not Section 43 applies in the present case?


  • The appellant argues that Section 42(1) and (2) were appropriately followed. The small difference between Exhibit P-14 and Exhibit P-15 was an unintentional error and does not imply a violation of Section 42(1)’s statutory requirements. 
  • According to Vira Ram (PW-4), the owner of the vehicle, it is argued that it was being used for passenger transportation. Accordingly, the NDPS Act’s Section 43 permits searches to be carried out in public areas. There was no need to observe Section 42’s requirements because of Section 43. 
  • Examined as witnesses were the Station House Officer (SHO) and additional police officers who accompanied the team during the entire operation. Their statements have proven the recovery of the illegal goods and the sequence of events that resulted in the seizure. Both the recovery and the ensuing legal proceedings were carried out legally. 
  • The appellant contends that, in spite of the Special Judge’s record of substantial evidence and adequate grounds for the conviction, the High Court erred in discharging the accused. The prosecution presented a substantial amount of evidence to support the accused’s guilt, and the High Court erred in its decision to reverse the conviction.
  • The appellant highlights the fact that the testimony of the police officers and the records of the recovery process were among the substantial and reliable evidence that was offered during the trial. Due to the High Court’s improper assessment of this evidence, an incorrect acquittal occurred.
  •  By claiming that all procedural requirements were satisfied, the recovery was lawful and sufficiently supported by evidence, and the acquittal was unreasonable in light of the case’s facts and circumstances, the appellant is seeking to overturn the High Court’s decision.


  •  The respondents’ counsel contended that, as upheld by the higher courts, the requirements of Sections 42(1) and 42(2) are obligatory. The High Court’s decision to overturn the conviction was justified by the crucial oversight of noncompliance with these provisions. There was insufficient adherence to the protocols for documenting and communicating information to higher-ranking officers.
  • The defence emphasised that the jeep in question belonged to Vira Ram personally. The High Court made the right decision in ruling that there was insufficient proof to back up the assertion that the jeep was a mode of public transportation. Throughout the trial, no documents or even allegations of permits from the transport authority allowing the vehicle to be used for public transport were made.
  •  The counsel maintained that the High Court made a precise and comprehensive analysis of the available evidence and the applicable laws. The accused was rightfully acquitted after the High Court correctly concluded that the prosecution had not followed all required legal procedures.


The Supreme Court of India held that the High Court has not erred in acquitting the accused when determining whether High Court has made an error in acquitting the accused. The information sent to the Circle Officer (Exh. P-15) and the recorded information (Exhs. P-14 and P-21) were found to be  discrepancy  by the High Court. The NDPS Act’s Section 42(2), which mandates that information be accurately and promptly reported to a higher officer, was implicitly broken by this disparity. As the High Court correctly concluded, the assertion that the car was a public transportation vehicle was not sufficiently supported by the evidence at hand. Hence section 43, which controls searches carried out in public spaces, did not apply in this instance. As a result, Section 42 compliance was required.

For the second aspect of whether the High Court’s findings about the non-compliance with Sections 429(1) and 42(2) were adequately supported by evidence, the court held that the High Court did not not commit any error in concluding Sec 42(2) of NDPS Act. As aforementioned, there was a clear discrepancy between the recorded information and the one which was sent to the Circle Officer, which highlights the inconsistency and the need to comply with the said provision. The Station House Officer who conducted the search of a private property without a warrant between sunset and sunrise has failed to produce a valid ground or belief for conducting such search, indicating the violation of Sec 42(1) of NDPS Act. 

The court held that Sec 43 did not attract in the present case while determining whether or not Section 43 applies in the present case. Since Section 43 did not apply, the search had to be carried out in compliance with the Section 42 of NDPS Act. Consequently, the Supreme Court of India delivered the judgment that the High Court has not erred in its judgment to set aside the conviction order because it was demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that Sections 42(1) and 42(2) were not followed.


It is to be concluded that this case offers guidance for law enforcement agencies and emphasises the importance of accurately documenting information, obtaining necessary warrants or authorizations, and maintaining procedural transparency during searches and seizures. It describes the conditions under which searches may be conducted in public spaces and emphasises the importance of abiding by procedural safeguards. The case provides an appropriate reminder of how critical it is to protect the legal rights of people accused of drug offenses.


This Article is written by Aleeza a student of Ziauddin Faculty of Law, Politics and Governance; Intern at Legal Vidhiya.

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are intended solely for informational purposes. Accessing or using the site or the materials does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The information presented on this site is not to be construed as legal or professional advice, and it should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Additionally, the viewpoint presented by the author is of a personal nature.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *