The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2006-attachment of property A presentation by Dr Ashok Bhan Commissioner of Vigilance J&K at Conference of Lok Ayuktas and State Vigilance Commissioners / Chief’s of Anti-Corruption Bureaus on 25, May 2007 at Ahmedabad
Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2006 provides for • Attachment of immovable property during investigation • Forfeiture of such property by the Special Court during trial Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2007 • Attachment shall include temporarily assuming the custody, possession and/or control of such property
Attachment Order • Investigating Officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police can make an order of attachment directing that such property shall not be transferred or otherwise dealt with • Reason to believe that property in relation to which investigation is being conducted has been acquired by resorting to such acts of omission & commission which constitute an offence of “Criminal misconduct” under sec 5 of PC Act • Prior permission of Commissioner of Vigilance in writing • I.O. can also with prior approval of Vigilance Commissioner issue an order that any property which is a subject matter of investigation and is likely to be transferred or otherwise dealt with to defeat the prosecution of the case shall not be transferred for a period not exceeding 90 days.
Designated Authority • I.O. to inform designated authority (Principal Secretary GAD) about the seizure or attachment within 48 hrs with a report of circumstances occasioning the seizure or attachment • Designated authority to confirm or revoke the seizure or attachment within 21 days after providing an opportunity to the I.O. and the person whose property is being attached or seized • Designated authority to ensure safety and protection of such property till disposal of the case
Appeal & powers of Special Judge • Appeal against order of Designated authority lies with The Special Judge (Anti-Corruption) • Special Court if satisfied about seizure or attachment, it may order forfeiture of such property, whether or not the person from whose possession it is seized or attached is prosecuted for a offence under the Act • Special Court can order sale of perishable property • Special Court can nominate an officer of the Govt to perform function of the Administrator of such property • Before issuing an order of forfeiture, the Special Court to provide an opportunity to the owner to show cause • Any person aggrieved by order of forfeiture may within one month from the date of receipt of such order appeal to the High Court
Attachments in practice • Generally in a disproportionate assetts case • A rough estimate of assetts and income prepared and value of disproportionate assetts calculated • A suitable property selected for attachment whose value at the time of acquisition is less than the calculated disproportionate assetts • Investigation transferred to Superintendent of Police • I.O. prepares a report justifying attachment • Commissioner of Vigilance orders attachment • I.O. issues an attachment order & owner informed • Designated authority announces a date for providing opportunity to the I.O. & the owner of the property • Order of the designated authority