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Thursday, 23 January 2014

'Only police officers with rank of Inspector or higher can seize without warrants'

PETALING JAYA: Only police officers with the rank of Inspector or higher are permitted to make seizures without warrants depending on the circumstances.

Under Section 62 of the Criminal Proce­dure Code (CPC), only such officers are allowed to enter premises and conduct seizures without warrants, provided they have plausible cause to do so.

According to Selangor CID’s law and prosecution division (D5) officer in charge Deputy Supt Razmi Mohd Gunnos, such seizures were permitted if they suspect that an illegal item is about to be moved and that getting a warrant would allow the suspects to escape.

“Another situation is when a seizure occurs at night or during the weekend when the magistrate’s court is not in session.

“If a crime is in progress, the officer in pursuit can also enter a premises and conduct a seizure of the stolen item without a warrant,” he told The Star yesterday.

However, for a planned raid or seizure, police must obtain a warrant under Section 54 of the CPC.

DSP Razmi explained that planned seizures must be accompanied by a warrant to ensure that any evidence obtained is accepted during court proceedings.

“The officer in charge will usually list down the items expected to be seized during a planned raid when applying for a warrant from a magistrate.

“The officer will also have to list down additional items seized (not on the list) after the raid to ensure that all evidence is permissible,” he said.

He said that a warrant under Section 38 of the CPC is effective until the magistrate’s court withdraws it or until the suspect is caught.

Among the circumstances of issuing arrest warrants were if an accused person skipped bail, if a witness who had been subpoenaed refused to attend court proceedings and those who had outstanding traffic summonses.

Asked about the Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s (Jais) raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia, DSP Razmi said the officers were acting in accordance with the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propa­gation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988.

“Jais officers have the power to raid and seize in accordance with the law,” he said, adding that the police would assist other enforcement agencies, including Jais, when requested.

Tags / Keywords: Courts Crime , warrant , dsp razmi


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