What are the basic requirements to be observed during Search operations?

The following principles should be observed during
• No search of premises should be carried out
without a valid search warrant issued by the
proper officer.
• There should invariably be a lady officer
accompanying the search team to residence.
• The officers before starting the search should
disclose their identity by showing their identity
cards to the person in-charge of the premises.
• The search warrant should be executed before
the start of the search by showing the same to
the person in-charge of the premises and his
signature should be taken on the body of the
search warrant in token of having seen the
same. The signatures of at least two witnesses
should also be taken on the body of the search
• The search should be made in the presence
of at least two independent witnesses of the
locality. If no such inhabitants are available
/willing, the inhabitants of any other locality
should be asked to be witness to the search.
The witnesses should be briefed about the
purpose of the search.
• Before the start of the search proceedings, the
team of officers conducting the search and the
accompanying witnesses should offer themselves
for their personal search to the person in-charge
of the premises being searched. Similarly, after
the completion of search all the officers and the
witnesses should again offer themselves for their
personal search.
• A Panchnama / Mahazar of the proceedings of
the search should necessarily be prepared on
the spot. A list of all goods, documents recovered
and seized/detained should be prepared and
annexed to the Panchnama/Mahazar. The
Panchnama / Mahazar and the list of goods/
documents seized/detained should invariably
be signed by the witnesses, the in-charge/
owner of the premises before whom the search
is conducted and also by the officer(s) duly
authorized for conducting the search.
• After the search is over, the search warrant
duly executed should be returned in original to
the issuing officer with a report regarding the
outcome of the search. The names of the officers
who participated in the search may also be
written on the reverse of the search warrant.
• The issuing authority of search warrant should
maintain register of records of search warrant
issued and returned and used search warrants
should be kept in records.
• A copy of the Panchnama / Mahazar along with
its annexure should be given to the person incharge/
owner of the premises being searched
under acknowledgement.