51. Procedure for search and seizure under section 75

(1) The officer who carries out a search under section 75, shall adopt the following procedure,-

(a) The officer should record reasons as to why under the facts and circumstances of the case, search is necessary.

(b) Before making a search, such officer shall call upon two witnesses to attend and witness the search and may issue an order in writing to them to do so.

(c) The dealer or his business manager or any other person performing any activity relating to the business at the business place, building or other premises searched, shall be deemed to be the person in-charge of such premises and shall also be permitted to witness the search.

(d) If any building or place is an apartment in the actual occupancy of a woman, who according to custom does not appear in public, the officer shall afford her every reasonable facility to withdraw.

(e) Search of person may be made, but in case of a woman it shall be carried out by a woman.

(f) In case of seizure of goods, articles and documents under this sub-rule, the procedure of sub-rule (2) shall be followed.

(2) The accounts, registers, documents, goods and articles may be examined without calling witnesses by the officer empowered under section 75, but in the case of seizure thereof, the following procedure shall be adopted,-

(a) seizure shall be made in the presence of two witnesses.

(b) seizure memo shall be prepared by such officer in Form VAT-46 and reasons for seizure shall be recorded therein.

(c) seizure memo shall also contain the list of the accounts, registers, goods, articles and the documents seized.

(d) seizure memo shall be signed by the officer who effects seizure, by the dealer or his business manager or person in-charge of the business and by the witnesses.

(e) The officer making seizure shall tender one copy of the seizure memo to the dealer or his business manager or the person in-charge of the business premises, as a token of receipt, and one copy thereof shall be forwarded by him to the Commissioner within twenty four hours after such seizure is made.

(3) The books of accounts or other documents maintained in the form of electronic record as defined in clause (t) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Indian Information Technology Act, 2000, may also be seized. In such cases the dealer or his business manager or person incharge of the business or person incharge of these electronic records shall be bound to disclose the password and such other information as may be asked for by the authorized officer(s).