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Ratan Babulal Lath Vs State Of Karnataka: Bank Account Of A Person Accused Of Prevention Of Corruption Act Cannot Be Attached U/S 102 CrPC

minakshi bindhani ,
  16 September 2021       Share Bookmark

Court :
The Supreme Court of India
Brief :
In this case, the appellant had filed an application before the SC against the impugned order wherein the SC held that the PC Act cannot be attached under Section 102 Cr.PC.
Citation :
Criminal Appeal No. 949 of 2021

DATE OF JUDGEMENT:
6th September 2021

BENCH:
Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul
Justice M.M Sundresh

PARTIES
Appellant-RatanBabulal Lath
Respondent-The State of Karnataka

SUBJECT

  • The Supreme Court observed that the bank account of a person accused under the Prevention of Corruption Act cannot be attached invoking Section 102 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

OVERVIEW

  • The sole question raised before the Apex Court is whether the attachment of the bank account of the appellant is sustainable in the exercise of powers under Section 102 Cr.PC.
  • The respondent submitted that they are in the process of filing an application under Section 18A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, since the earlier authorization issued by the Government under Section 3 of the Criminal Law Amendment of Ordinance, 1944 was not in the form of the Government order.

LEGAL PROVISIONS

  • Section 102 Cr.PC:A police officer may seize any property which may be alleged or suspected to have been stolen, or which may be found under circumstances that create suspicion of the commission of any offence.
  • Section 18A of Prevention Corruption Act: The provision of the criminal law Amendment Ordinance 1944, shall, as may be, apply to the attachment, administration of attached property and execution of an order of attached or confiscation of money or property procured through an offence under the PC Act.

ISSUE

  • Whether the attachment of the bank account of the appellant is sustainable in the exercise of powers under Section 102 Cr.PC?

COURT’S OBSERVATION

  • The Apex Court held that it is not possible to sustain the freezing of the bank account of the appellant,as the Prevention Corruption Act is a code by itself.
  • In addition to that, the court has given a brief elaboration of the legal provision of Section 102 Cr.PC, wherein a police officer may seize any property which may be alleged or suspected to have been stolen, or which may be found under circumstances that create suspicion of the commission of any offence. As per Section 18A of the Prevention Corruption Act, the provision of the criminal law Amendment Ordinance 1944, shall, as may be, apply to the attachment, administration of attached property and execution of an order of attached or confiscation of money or property procured through an offence under the PC Act.
  • Thereby, the freezing of the account of the appellant cannot be sustained and ordered to be set aside.

CONCLUSION

The appeal was allowed and consequently, the Apex Court ordered to set aside the impugned order and told that the parties must bear their costs.

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