K. Veeraswami, C.J.
1. So far as this Court is concerned, it is well established that ever though a search may be illegal or void for any reason, nevertheless, the articles recovered by means of that search can be put in evidence and that will be lawful. Illegality of search and seizure is one thing and the legality of the user of the articles is quite another. M.K. Annamalai Chettiar and Co. v. The Deputy Commercial Tax Officer, Perundurai and Anr. (1965) 16 S.T.C. 687, held that proposition. One of us decided that and that has been accepted and applied by a Division Bench in Sha Hastimal Khimchand v. The Deputy Commercial Tax Officer, Tiruchirapalli W.P. No. 1199 of 1967 . This is what was held in M. K. Annamalai Chettiar and Company v. The Deputy Commercial Tax Officer, Perundurai and Anr. (1965) 16 S.T.C. 687..Whatever means by which the documents have been obtained, their admissibility will depend only on their relevancy and not on the means by which they have been procured....The proposition seems to receive support from Kuruma v. The Queen (1955) A.C. 197, the ratio of which is that irrespective of the means or the manner by which evidence is secured, its admissibility is dependent on the question of relevancy and such evidence cannot be ruled out, on the ground that it had been procured by improper means or illegally.
There reference, was also made to the observation of the Privy Council in Reg. v. Leatham (1861) 8 C.C.C. 498 , that it mattered not how you got the evidence; if you stole it even, it would be admissible. The only question is whether what is sought to be let in as evidence is relevant or is admissible and the Court is not concerned with how it is obtained. Strenuously it is sought to be made out before us that the search and seizure were illegal. We will assume that they are so for the purpose of argument. Appellant would be entitled eventually to a return of the articles. Even so, all that can bs said is Only that. But where they are sought to be used ir an enquiry, public interest requires that they te allowed to be retaired for a reasonable time for the purpose of investigation.
2. On that view, the appeal is dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee. Rs. 100.