MP: Property rights may lead to tussle among investigating bodies
Even though law is amply clear on who would get rights over a property that gets attached, the IT, ED and the Lokayukta all find themselves competing for dismissed IAS couple's properties.bhopal Updated: Oct 13, 2014 19:17 IST
Even though the Civil Procedure Code is amply clear on who would get rights over a property in case it has been attached by multiple agencies, the income tax department, the enforcement directorate (ED) and the Lokayukta organisation all find themselves competing for the same set of properties belonging to Arvind and Tinoo Joshi, the terminated IAS officers who are absconding.
All of the foresaid agencies have attached the properties of the Joshis in pursuance of their claims. The issue could snowball into a controversy in case any of the agencies moves to liquidate or to utilise the properties.
The income tax department was the first to attach the properties owned by the Joshis under Section 226 of the I-T Act. The ED, that is probing the Joshis under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, has also provisionally attached their properties.
The state government too had cleared the attachment of the properties in March, 2013 as the Lokayukta is looking into cases of disproportionate assets by the couple. Sources said till now, while the properties are attached, none of the agencies have moved to liquidate them or to put them to use.
"In case the Joshis do not surrender, we may move under the Special Courts Act to begin using the attached properties for public welfare, something that is provided under the MP Special Courts Act," said an official in the general administration department, wishing anonymity.
Once, however, any of the agencies decide to act on the confiscated properties, there could be an issue as other agencies have also attached the properties.
"If the situation arises, the income tax department will use the properties to settle the tax demand which is about Rs 180 crore. Once that is done, the properties can be put to other use," said an official of the IT department.
The Civil Procedure Code (CPC) is clear on such situations. Section 63 of the code states in cases where properties are attached by more courts than one, the first to attach or the highest court will have the first right over it.