55 Search and seizure
Where in the course of inquiry under section 53, the Inquiry Officer has reasonable ground to believe that any books, registers, documents, records or data belonging to any person as mentioned therein, are likely to be tampered with, altered, mutilated, manufactured, falsified or destroyed, the Inquiry Officer may make an application to such designated court, as may be notified by the Central Government, for an order for the seizure of such books, registers, documents and records.
The Inquiry Officer may require the services of any police officer or any officer of the Central Government, or of both, to assist him for the purposes specified in sub-section (1) and it shall be the duty of every such officer to comply with such requisition.
After considering the application and hearing the Inquiry Officer, if necessary, the designated court may, by order, authorise the Inquiry Officer—
- (a) to enter, with such assistance, as may be required, the place or places where such books, registers, documents and records are kept;
- (b) to search that place or those places in the manner specified in the order; and
- (c) to seize books, registers, documents and records it considers necessary for the purposes of the inquiry.
The Inquiry Officer shall keep in its custody the books, registers, documents and records seized under this section for such period not later than the conclusion of the inquiry as it considers necessary and thereafter shall return the same to the person, from whose custody or power they were seized and inform the designated court of such return.
Save as otherwise provided in this section, every search or seizure made under this section shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 relating to searches or seizures made under that Code.
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