DA case: SC restores confiscation of properties of six cos

DA case: SC restores confiscation of properties of six cos

Supreme Court today restored a trial court direction to confiscate properties allegedly registered in the name of six firms, following the conviction of AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala and others in the disproportionate assets case.

A bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy refused to concur with the submission buttressed by the companies that their properties cannot be forfeited without hearing them, as they have not been arrayed as accused.

"Having regard to the frame and content of the(Prevention of Corruption) Act and the limited modifications to the provisions of the CrPC, in their applicability as occasioned thereby and the authorisation of the special Judge trying the offences thereunder to exercise all the powers and functions invocable by a District Judge under the Ordinance, we are of the opinion that the order of confiscation/forfeiture of the properties standing in the name of six companies, as involved, made by the Trial Court is unexceptionable.

"In any view of the matter, with peremptory termination of the criminal proceedings resultant on this pronouncement, the direction of the Trial Court towards confiscation/ forfeiture of the attached property, as mentioned therein, is hereby restored and would be construed to be an order by this court as well.

"The decisions cited on behalf of the respondents (Sasikala and others) on this issue, are distinguishable on facts and are of no avail to them," the apex court said.

The firms, which found mention in the trial court records, are Lex Property Development, Meadow Agro Farms Ltd, Riverway Agro Products Pvt Ltd, Ramraj Agro Mills Ltd, Signora Business Enterprises Pvt Ltd and Indo Doha Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd.

These companies claimed that they are lawful owners of some of the properties which have found mention in the list of assets in the case.

The firms claimed that they have been deprived of their right to be heard in the proceedings leading to confiscation of their assets.

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