Competent Authority & Administrator,
NDPS Act 1985 & SAFEM (FOP) Act 1976, New Delhi
 
 

 

   
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The NDPS Act has specific provision for management of properties seized or forfeited under chapter VA of the Act. As has already been mentioned the forfeiture proceeding against a person start right after his arrest for an offence under the Act. In many cases the properties have to remain under seizure/frozen for a considerable period of time till the case is finally decided by the Competent Authority or a court of competent jurisdiction. The management and administration of such properties are thus  very important aspects of forfeiture proceedings. Once a property is forfeited it becomes Government property and till its disposal has to be properly managed. Some of the property may also be generating cash income for the owner. The moment such property is seized; the income from this should not go to the owner. Till final disposal of the case, this income can also not be appropriated by government. Specific arrangement has been provided in the Act and Rules framed there under for management of such income. Disposal of forfeited property is also an important topic covered under the Act and corresponding rules. Some records and reports have also been prescribed for proper maintenance of the seized/forfeited property.

The job of management and administration of the property seized or forfeited has been entrusted to an Administrator appointed under the Act. The Administrator has to receive and manage the properties in relation to which a seizing/freezing order under section 68 F of the Act or forfeiture order under section 68 I of the Act has been made. All the five Competent Authorities have also been designated as Administrators under the appropriate provisions of the Act. The Administrator functions in close co ordination with respective enforcement agencies.

A proper understanding on part of the enforcement agencies, of the issues related with administration and management of property is thus essential. The management of properties is done as provided under The Illegally Acquired Property (Receipt, Management and Disposal) Rules 1989 These Rules provide the manner in which the properties have to be stored or managed, the records which are to be maintained, and the manner in which these properties are to be disposed of. In the whole exercise, the enforcement agencies have to work in close co ordination with the Administrator.

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Any officer can be authorized by the Administrator under Rule 9 of the NDPSA, 1985, to take possession of vacant land or building which have been either seized/frozen under section 68 F or forfeited under section 68I. These officers are generally from the concerned enforcement agencies or from District Administration.

If the property has been seized/frozen under section 68 F and is under occupation of a lessee or tenant the Administrator may allow such lessee and tenant to continue in occupation, on existing terms and condition as on the date of passing the order under section 68 F. The income derived from such properties however shall be kept with the Administrator till final order under section 68 I is passed. If finally the property is not forfeited, the accumulated income shall be returned to the owner after deducting  expenses for management and maintenance of the property. (Rule 10).

The record of land and building shall be maintained in Form III ( Rule 11).

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