KARACHI: Customs authorities have been empowered to screen or X-Ray bodies of suspected persons for detection of concealed goods.
According to Customs Act, 1969, an officer not below the rank of an assistant collector of customs can order to screen or X-Ray a person for detection of concealed goods.
Section 160 of the Act explained regarding the power to screen or X-Ray bodies of suspected persons for detecting secreted goods.
(1) Where the appropriate officer has reason to believe that any person liable to search has any goods liable to confiscation secreted inside his body, he may detain such person and produce him without unnecessary delay before an officer of customs not below the rank of an Assistant Collector of Customs.
(2) The aforesaid officer, if he has reasonable grounds for believing that such person has any such goods secreted inside his body and that it is necessary to have the body of such person screened or X-Rayed, may make an order to that effect , or else discharge such person forthwith, except where he is held on any other grounds.
(3) Where the aforesaid officer orders such person to be screened or X-Rayed, the appropriate officer shall, as soon as practicable, take him to a radiologist possessing such qualifications as may be recognized by the Federal Government for that purpose and such person shall allow the radiologist to screen or X-Ray his body.
(4) The radiologist shall screen or X-Ray the body of such person and forward his report thereon, together with any X-Ray picture taken by him to the aforesaid officer without unnecessary delay.
(5) Where on the basis of a report from a radiologist or otherwise, the aforesaid officer is satisfied that any person has any goods liable to confiscation secreted inside his body, he may direct that suitable action for bringing such goods out of his body be taken on the advice and under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner and such person shall be bound to comply with such direction:
Provided that in the case of a female no such action shall be taken except on the advice and under the supervision of a female registered medical practitioner.
(6) Where any person is brought before an officer of customs not below the rank of an Assistant Collector of Customs as aforesaid, he may direct that pending completion of all action under this section such person be detained.
(7) No person shall be subjected to screening or X-Ray if he confesses that goods liable to confiscation are secreted inside his body and of his own consent agrees to suitable steps being taken to bring out such goods.