P&H High Court: Nexus With Offence Required For Bank Account Seizure U/S 102 CrPC

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Published on: December 19, 2023 at 15:38 IST

The Punjab & Haryana High Court, in a recent ruling, affirmed the decision to de-freeze the bank account of a teacher accused under the Prevention of Corruption Act for possessing disproportionate assets.

Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul clarified that for the seizure of a bank account under Section 102 CrPC, there must be a discernible connection between the account and the alleged offence, creating suspicion regarding the commission of the crime.

Examining Section 102 CrPC, Justice Kaul stated that the seizure requirement hinges on establishing a nexus between the bank account and the alleged offence, generating suspicion of its commission.

The case in question involved a teacher who, despite a separate income source, faced account attachment, hindering her financial stability.

The Court addressed a petition by the CBI, challenging the order of a special CBI Judge in Haryana, which permitted the de-freezing of the teacher’s bank account.

The CBI contended that the teacher’s account might be linked to the proceeds from the ill-gotten wealth of the prime accused, her spouse, potentially used for property purchase and other transactions.

The respondent argued her lack of substantial involvement, emphasizing her separate income and the adverse impact of the account freeze on her sustenance.

The Court noted that the CBI did not dispute the release of the prime accused’s accounts and rejected the CBI’s claim of another pending FIR for disproportionate assets against the teacher, as it was not under adjudication.

The Court concluded that, in the absence of intervening circumstances, and considering the omission of the teacher’s accounts from the charge sheet, there was no justification to interfere with the impugned order. Consequently, the petition was dismissed.

Title: Central Bureau of Investigation v. Arvinderjeet Kaur Puri

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