Section 85 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.) – Explained!

Such property, unless it is perishable in nature, shall remain attached with the Government for a period of six months after the expiry of which, it will be caused to be sold. The sale proceeds will remain in the hands of the Government for two years after which the property shall stand forfeited.

Sub-section (3) provides a remedy to the absconder and he is entitled to the restoration of the property attached where it has not been sold or to the net set proceeds if the property has been sold by the Government, if he voluntarily appears before the Court or is apprehended and brought before the Court and satisfies the Court that he did not abscond or conceal himself to evade execution of warrant or had no notice of proclamation.

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Where the wife and minor children of the absconder claimed release of the attached property for their maintenance, the application was rejected by the Criminal Court on the ground that the applicants cannot be said to have an interest in the property in regard to their claim for maintenance.

In M.C. Choudary v. State, the accused successfully proved that he had no knowledge that he was wanted in a criminal case and his property had been wrongly attached on the ground that he was absconding. He further asserted that all other accused of the case excepting him were acquitted, therefore, he too was entitled for acquittal and restoration of his attached property.

Held, it was unjust to confiscate the attached property of the accused under the given circumstances and, therefore, the High Court ordered the release of his attached property using its inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.