144-Q. REMOVAL OF BALLOT PAPER FROM POLLING STATION TO BE AN OFFENCE
(1) Any person who at any election fraudulently takes, or attempts to take a ballot paper cut of a polling station, or wilfully aids, or abets the doing of any such act, shall on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or an offence, with both.
(2) If the Presiding Officer of a polling station has reason to believe that any person is committing or has committed an offence punishable under sub-section (1), such officer may, before such person leaves the polling station, arrest or direct a police officer to arrest such person and may search such person 01 cause him to be searched by a police officer :
Provided that, when it is necessary to cause a. woman to be searched, the search shall be made by another woman with strict regard to decency.
(3) Any ballot paper found upon the person arrested on search shall be made over for safe custody to a police officer by the Presiding Officer, or when the search is made by a police officer, shall be kept by such officer in safe custody.
(4) An offence punishable under sub-section (1) shall be cognizable.