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N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     11 February 2009

Diatinction between section 451 and 457 CRPC?

Dear All,

                    Can any one of you help me in making a clear distinction between section 451 and 457 of the Criminal procedure Code? thanking you all in advance.


 15 Replies

PALNITKAR V.V. (Lawyer)     11 February 2009

The basic difference is that in the case of Sec.451 the property is before the court whereas  Sec. 457 applies when only seizure is reported without production of the property. Secondly, Sec. 451 does not say that the custody of the property should be given only to the person entitled to possession thereof, whereas Sec. 457 is very specific about the person entitled to possession. Property can be disposed off u/s 451 only if the property is subject to speedy and natural decay or the Magistrate, after recording evidence finds it expedient to sell or otherwise dispose it of. Whereas no such reasons are required u/s 457 of Cr.P.C.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     11 February 2009

Dear Palnitkarji, thank you for the valuable information; hats off dear Palnitkarji.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     12 February 2009

Suppose the article can not be taken to the Court so the Court went to police mal khana and saw the property, whether it can amount to production before the Court.

PALNITKAR V.V. (Lawyer)     12 February 2009

It is a debatable point.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     12 February 2009

Do you mean to say that Court function can be exercise only inside the Court house?

PALNITKAR V.V. (Lawyer)     18 February 2009

I do not mean that. But there can be debate on it.

Prashant Mule (LEGAL SERVICES)     13 July 2009

To my limited knowledge i think magistrate or judge has discretionery power in this respect under section 310 of Criminal Procedure code.......... dear all correct me if i under wrong impression..

PARTHA P BORBORA (advocate)     13 July 2009

Section 451 Cr.P.C. is applicable when the seized articles were produced before the Court along with the sezure list during investgation and Sec 457 is applicable when police only submitted the sezurelist before the court but not produced the seized articles with the sezure list. this is the main differerence between the two.

Shree. ( Advocate.)     18 July 2009

 Dear Assumi Sir,

In order to understand the distinction between Sections 451 and 457 both the provisions falling in Chapter XXXIV of CrPC regarding disposal of property,relevant portion of the provisions may be usefully reproduced hereinbelow.

     "451. Order for custody and disposal of property pending trial in certain cases. - When any property is produced before any Criminal Court during any inquiry or trial, the Court may make such order as it thinks fit for the proper custody of such property pending the conclusion of the inquiry or trial, and, if the property is subject to speedy or natural decay, or if it is otherwise
expedient so to do, the Court may, after recording such evidence as it thinks necessary, order it to be sold or otherwise disposed of.

     Explanation. - ...........

     457. Procedure by police upon seizure of property. - (1) Whenever the seizure of property by any police is reported to Magistrate under the provisions of this Code and such property is not produced before a Criminal Court during an inquiry or trial, the Magistrate may make such order as he thinks fit respecting
the disposal of such property or the delivery of such property to the person entitled to the possession thereof or if such person cannot be ascertained respecting the custody and production of such property.

     (2) .............. "

   From the opening part of Section 451, underlined for the purpose of emphasis, it is evident that the property pertaining to which the Magistrate is empowered to pass orders regarding the proper custody is basically property involved in a criminal case seized during the course of enquiry/investigation although production of such property before the court can be at any stage i.e. either
during the course of enquiry or trial. So far as Section 457 of CrPC is concerned, on reference to its opening part, there is no reference to any enquiry, investigation or trial pertaining to the property, seizure of which is reported by the Police Officer to the Magistrate. On the contrary, subsequent part "such property is not produced before a Criminal Court during an enquiry or trial" clearly confirms that the property regarding custody of which the
Magistrate is empowered to pass orders for proper custody is the property not involved in any criminal proceeding at any stage from enquiry till trial.

   On reading Section 457 in isolation an argument may be advanced that if the seizure of the property is only reported but the property is not produced before the Magistrate, the Magistrate will have to pass order under Section 457 of CrPC. Such an argument cannot be sustained if Sections 451 and 457 are considered together. If such an argument is to be accepted, we will be leaving
the control of exercise of judicial powers of the Magistrate at the mercy and will of the investigating officer e.g. if the investigating officer seizes property, such as goods truck or say an elephant as the stolen property and merely reports about seizure as the same cannot be produced in the court of Magistrate nor kept in the malkhana of the Magistrate because of its size, the property cannot be said to be property not produced before the criminal court, during an enquiry or trial. Anything seized, as a result of enquiry/investigation into the complaint must be deemed to have been produced
before the criminal court as soon as the investigating officer reports the seizure of such property to the Magistrate.

 In Smt.Basava Vs. State of Mysore
and another, Apex Court observed:-

     " A production before the Court does not mean physical custody or possession by the Court, but includes even control exercised by the Court by passing an order regarding the custody of the articles. Where the Magistrate, after having been informed that the articles have been produced before the Court directs the Sub-Inspector to keep them with him in safe custody, to get them
valued and verified by a goldsmith, the articles are undoubtedly produced before the Court and become custodia legis." Section 452 empowers the Criminal Court to pass final orders regarding disposal, destruction, confiscation or delivery as it thinks fit, when an enquiry or trial is concluded. Therefore, property seized must always
be deemed to be property produced before Criminal Court and having become custodia legis. Therefore, whether the Magistrate passes an order regarding proper custody of the property under Section 451 of CrPC or Section 457 of CrPC,
should be guided by the test, whether the property is involved and seized during enquiry, investigation of a crime and is required to be produced before the criminal court during the course of trial. Physical non production of the property before the criminal court, either during the trial or during earlier stages, will not take away the jurisdiction of the Magistrate to deal with the property in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 451 of the CrPC and
subsequently under Section 452 at the conclusion of the trial. That the seizure of the property is only reported by the Police Officer and that he property is not physically produced before the Court is certainly not the test to determine whether Section 451 or Section 457 of the CrPC would be the empowering provision
for Magistrate to deal with application regarding proper custody of the property.
     Section 457 would be applicable only when the police have seized the property without being in the midst of any enquiry or the investigation into alleged offence. The clause "such property is not produced before the criminal court during an enquiry or trial" for all practical purposes must, therefore, be read as, "such property is not involved and required to be produced before thecriminal court during the enquiry or trial."

   Thus, there is no region where the provisions empowering Magistrate to pass orders regarding proper custody of property seized by police, i.e. Sections 451/452 on one hand and Section 457 on the other side can overlap. Sections 451/452 come into play in cases of properties seized by police during the course
of enquiry or investigation of an alleged offence and therefore, property becomes custodia legis as soon as seized. Section 457 applies in cases of properties seized by police which are not linked with complaint of an offence received earlier and therefore, not likely to be produced before Criminal Court for the purpose of enquiry or trial.

Noorkhan S/O Jafarkhan vs Sk. Jakeer Sk. Akbar on 15/1/2003 Link:

1 Like

rakesh verma (advocate)     04 August 2009

does district magistrate  jurisdiction to release property in under section -457 crpc?

IKGoyal Advocate (Legal)     18 November 2009

QUESTION :  What if Property released and afterwards bailer of property took his bail and produced wrong property , what is the proceeding after this.

Prashant Mule (LEGAL SERVICES)     18 November 2009

Ans to the question of IKGoyal,

Dear Mr. Goyal, kindly go through the order passed by the magistrate while releasing the property u/s 457, the magistrate always for the safer side ask for Bond and personal security at the time of release.. And More over the property in question of s 457 are the evidenciary value which are deciding factor of the offence, any change in the property will lead to acquittal of the accused.


sagar mukhedkar (court)     15 April 2015

Anybody can tell me the magistrate has power to return the property in e.c.act

Adv. Prashant V. Jadhav (lawyer)     01 January 2016

Having any rulling upon U/s 452, 457 of CRPC return seized property to whom it was seized when acused is acquital 


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