Competent Authority

SAFEMA/NDPSA, Mumbai

Freezing / Seizure Provision

Where any officer conducting an inquiry or investigation under section 68E has reason to believe that any property in relation to which such inquiry or investigation is being conducted is an illegally acquired property and such property is likely to be concealed, transferred or dealt with in any manner which will result in frustrating any proceeding relating to forfeiture of such property under the Chapter-V(A), he may make an order for seizing such property and where it is not practicable to seize such property, he may make an order that such property shall not be transferred or otherwise dealt with, except with the prior permission of the officer making such an order, or of the Competent Authority and a copy of such order shall be served on the person concerned;

Provided that the Competent Authority shall be duly informed of any order made under this sub-section and a copy of such an order shall be sent to the Competent Authority within forty-eight hours of its being made.

The basic concept in this regard is that the person should be prevented from disposing off the tainted property before initiating the forfeiture proceedings. As far as possible the properties should be seized and where it is not practically possible to seize it, the same may be ordered to be frozen.

The freezing/seizure order must be self contained with all relevant details like the details of the person affected, holder of the property, their- relationship to each other, complete, particulars of the property including the value, correct address and description, date of acquisition etc. The order should also contain a brief reasons to believe that the subject properties are illegally acquired, with supporting documents such as statements of the individuals or any other document as the case may be.

Once the order is issued, the concerned Competent Authority should be duly informed about issue of such order and order should be forwarded to the Competent Authority within 48 hours. The order issued under this provision will be valid only for 30 days. Thereafter, the same will be effective only if it is confirmed by the Competent Authority within the stipulated time of 30 days.