Police Can’t Seal Immovable Property Of A Citizen On Suspicion: Chhattisgarh HC [Read Order]

Police Can’t Seal Immovable Property Of A Citizen On Suspicion: Chhattisgarh HC [Read Order]

‘The word ‘seize’ used in Section 102 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) would mean only actual taking possession of the movable property.’

The Chhattisgarh High Court in Nisar Hussain vs. State of Chhattisgarh has held that the police have no power to seal the immovable property and the word ‘seize’ used in Section 102 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) would mean only actual taking possession of the movable property.

Justice Sanjay K Agrawal agreed with the view taken by the full bench of Bombay High court in Sudhir Vasant Karnataki Mohideen Mohammed Sheik Dawood  v. The State of Maharashtra, wherein it held that a police officer in exercise of power under Section 102 of the CrPC cannot attach immovable property.

Section 102 CrPC is about the power of police officer to seize certain property. It reads: Any police officer may seize any property which may be alleged or suspected to have been stolen, or which may be found under circumstances which create suspicion of the commission of any offence.

In this case, the police had sealed a shop on the ground that the properties stored in the shop in relation to which there existed suspicion of some cognizable offence having been committed in relation thereto, could not be conveniently transported to some other place or because of the difficulties in securing proper accommodation for the custody thereof.

The court also referred to a Jharkhand High Court judgment in Bishwanath Paul v. State of Jharkhand that held that for the purpose of facilitating the investigation, the police under Section 102 of the CrPC have no power to put the seal on the immovable property.

“Keeping in mind the ambit and scope of Section 102 of the CrPC and the ratio laid down by the Full Bench of the Bombay High Court in Sudhir Vasant Karnataki Mohideen Mohammed Sheik Dawood (supra), this Court is also of the considered opinion that under Section 102(1) of the CrPC the police have no power to seal the immovable property and the word seize under Section 102 of the CrPC used under Section 102 of the CrPC would mean only actual taking possession of the movable property. I find myself in complete agreement with the ratio laid down by the Full Bench of the Bombay High Court in the aforementioned decision with regard to the powers of the police officer to attach immovable property under Section 102(1) of the CrPC,” the bench said.

The court then directed the Station House Officer to remove the seal on the immovable property and vacate the premises after making an inventory of the articles which are lying in the shop. The police were also directed to make provision for the keeping of the articles so seized for its production before the court as and when required.

Read the Order Here