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Bank Account Cannot Be Frozen By Way Of Summons U/S 91 CrPC: Madras High Court

Upasana Sajeev
27 Oct 2022 7:08 AM GMT
Bank Account Cannot Be Frozen By Way Of Summons U/S 91 CrPC: Madras High Court
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The Madras High Court has held that the police have no jurisdiction to freeze bank accounts while issuing summons under Section 91 of CrPC. While issuing such summons, the investigating officer can only summon a person to produce the document or other things.

Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan thus observed as under:

Thus, it is clear that the first respondent (Inspector of Police, Cyber Crime) has no jurisdiction. In the summons issued under Section 91 of Cr.P.C., the investigation officer summons the person to produce the document or other things. On the summons issued under Section 91 of Cr.P.C., account cannot be freezed.

The court also noted that the respondent police had failed to inform the jurisdictional Magistrate about the freezing of the account as was required under Section 102(3) CrPC.

Background

The original complainant was cheated by an anonymous person who offered a part time job in Flipkart to the complainant. For getting the job, he was made to make payments to the tune of Rs. 5,58,749 in installments.

The petitioner was engaged in the business of trading of crypto currency on different exchanges. He had received an order of purchase for a sum of Rs. 89,000 and he released the said cryto currency within 15 days.

Alleging that the fraudulently collected money was used to make the purchase and believing that he was engaged in similar crimes, the respondent directed the bank authorities to freeze the petitioner's account.

The petitioner contended that he was not even an accused in the main crime and that it was only during investigation that the details regarding bank transfer was brought to light.

However, observing that the petitioner had admitted to placing a purchase of crypto currency to the tune of Rs. 89000, the court directed the petitioner to deposit the amount in the form of a fixed deposit in favour of the crime no. The court also directed the respondents to permit the petitioner to use his bank accounts.

Case Title: Sahil Raj v State of Tamil Nadu and others

Case No: WP No.21344 of 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 441

Counsel for Petitioner: Mr.H.K.Chaturvedi

Counsel for Respondent: Mr.E.Raj Thilak Additional Public Prosecutor

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