The Supreme Court has ruled out the use of special law to seize properties of criminals who commit crime within the territory of India.
A bench headed by Justice VS Sirpurkar upheld the Madhya Pradesh high court judgment that restrained the state government from initiating the process of confiscating properties belonging to local criminals under the special provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc).
The court stated the provision under Chapter VII-A of the CrPc was a mode to attach and forfeit property of terrorists and should not be diluted by using it on ordinary criminals. It added that the suspect should acquire the property in question through the money earned from criminal activities having international ramifications.
“The provisions of Chapter VII-A are not the ordinary law of land… Chapter VII-A has been incorporated with an intention to curb mischief or completely eliminate the terrorists activities and international crimes,” the apex court defined the use of the law.
With the directions the court dismissed the Madhya Pradesh government’s plea to overrule its high court judgment and permit forfeiture of a local criminal’s property. It said there were chances of a misuse if the provisions were applied to local offences.
The provision dealt by the court prescribes how the government should proceed in case it receives a request from another country to locate and attach a property earned by a suspected terrorist or international criminal.
The state government had urged the court to accept its contention claiming that the provision related to use of special law is applied to any property in India that is derived or obtained from the commission of offence.