Section 83 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.) – Explained!

The Court issuing the proclamation can attach the property at any time after the issue of proclamation. But it may also order the attachment simultaneously with the issue of proclamation if it is satisfied by affidavit or otherwise that the person proclaimed absconder is likely to dispose of whole or part of-his property or is about to remove it from the local jurisdiction of the Court.

The High Court of Allahabad has ruled that attachment of property cannot be ordered unless the statutory period of thirty days has elapsed after the proclamation was issued under Section 82 of the Code.

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It is only when the Court has recorded reasons while issuing the order of attachment that the conditions mentioned in proviso to sub-section (1) are present that the order of attachment can be issued simultaneously with the order of proclamation.

Where the property attached under this section is a Joint Hindu family property, the only procedure that can be adopted is to appoint a receiver to collect the share of the absconder.

Sub-section (5) provides for immediate sale of the attached property if it consists of live stock or perishables.

Sub-sections (3) and (4) prescribe the mode of attachment in case of movable and immovable property respectively. Movable property also includes debt.

The Supreme Court in V.G. Paterson v. Forbes has observed that since the provisions of Cr. P.C. are not applicable to contempt proceedings, the provisions of this section would not be availed of for securing the presence of the alleged contemnor, or in default to attach his property.

In Guman Ahmad v. State of Uttar Pradesh, the order of attachment of property under Section 83, Cr. P.C. was passed only for limited purpose, i.e., for calling report regarding immovable property of the accused. The Magistrate was yet to pass an order for auction and sale of immovable property of the accused.

Non-bailable warrants were issued almost eight months back but the accused had not appeared before the Court. In such circumstances, it could not be said that Magistrate had acted in haste in calling for report as it was the first step before passing order for attachment of immovable property of the accused. Therefore there was no reason to interfere with the order of the Magistrate as he had passed a reasoned order.

It may be noted that the main object of attachment of property is not to punish the absconder but to compel his presence. So long as the attached property is not disposed of, the title thereof continues to vest in the owner and thereafter in his successors.

If the proclaimed person makes appearance within the time specified in the proclamation, the Court may pass an order releasing the property from the attachment. However, if such person does not appear within the specified time, the attached property will be at the disposal of the State Government. But it cannot be sold until six months have expired from the date of the attachment and until all claims or objections made with reference to such property have been disposed of.

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