The Supreme Court has reiterated that an immovable property cannot be seized by Police under Section 102 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The premises of the petitioner's hotel were sealed invoking powers under Section 18 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act. The Trial Court had rejected the prayer for de-sealing of the restaurants, which was upheld by the High Court.In the said judgment, the High Court held that all properties whether movable or immovable could be seized by police under Section 102 of the Code.
In appeal, the bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat noted that sealing that has taken place of the premises is admittedly for more than one year and not by the Magistrate as required by Section 18 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956. It further observed:
"Furthermore, the reasoning of the High Court that immovable property can be seized under Section 102, Criminal Procedure Code, is contrary to the law declared in Nevada Properties Pvt. Ltd. vs. State of Maharashtra, 2019 SCC OnLine (SC) 1247. "
Nevada Properties Pvt. Ltd. vs. State of Maharashtra
In this judgment delivered last year, the Supreme Court had categorically held that The police does not have the power to attach immovable property during investigation under Section 102 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Court held that the expression 'any property' appearing in Section 102 of the Code of Criminal Procedure would not include 'immovable property'.
In case and if we allow the police officer to 'seize' immovable property on a mere 'suspicion of the commission of any offence', it would mean and imply giving a drastic and extreme power to dispossess etc. to the police officer on a mere conjecture and surmise, that is, on suspicion, which has hitherto not been exercised, the Court had said.
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