POWER OF INVESTIGATION, SEARCH AND SEIZURE UNDER “THE BANNING OF UNREGULATED DEPOSIT SCHEMES BILL, 2018”

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POWER OF INVESTIGATION, SEARCH AND SEIZURE UNDER “THE BANNING OF UNREGULATED DEPOSIT SCHEMES BILL, 2018” 

 

INVESTIGATION, SEARCH AND SEIZURE

28. Offences to be cognizable and non-bailable.

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 every offence punishable under this Ordinance, except the offence under section 22 and section 26, shall be cognizable and non-bailable.

29. Competent Authority to be informed of offences.

The police officer shall, on recording information about the commission of an offence under this Ordinance, inform the same to the Competent Authority.

30. Investigation of offences by Central Bureau of Investigation.

(1) On receipt of information under section 29 or otherwise, if the Competent Authority has reason to believe that the offence relates to a deposit scheme or deposit schemes in which-

(a) the depositors, deposit takers or properties involved are located in more than one State or Union territory in India or outside India; and

(b) the total value of the amount involved is of such magnitude as to significantly affect the public interest,

the Competent Authority shall refer the matter to the Central Government for investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

(2) The reference made by the Competent Authority under sub-section (1) shall be deemed to be with the consent of the State Government under section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.

(3) On the receipt of the reference under sub­section (1), the Central Government may transfer the investigation of the offence to the Central Bureau of Investigation under section 5 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.

31. Power to enter, search and seize without warrant.

(1) Whenever any police officer, not below the rank of an officer-in-charge of a police station, has reason to believe that anything necessary for the purpose of an investigation into any offence under this Ordinance may be found in any place within the limits of the police station of which he is in-charge, or to which he is attached, such officer may, with the written authorisation of an officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police, and after recording in writing so far as possible, the thing for which the search is to be made and subject to the rules made in this behalf, authorise any officer sub-ordinate to him,—

(a) to enter and search any building, conveyance or place, between sunrise and sunset, which he has reason to suspect is being used for purposes connected with the promotion or conduct of any deposit taking scheme or arrangement in contravention of the provisions of this Ordinance;

(b) in case of resistance, to break open any door and remove any obstacle to such entry, if necessary by force, with such assistance as he considers necessary, for exercising the powers conferred by clause (a);

(c) to seize any record or property found as a result of the search in the said building, conveyance or place, which are intended to be used, or reasonably suspected to have been used, in connection with any such deposit-taking scheme or arrangement in contravention of the provisions of this Ordinance; and

(d) to detain and search, and if he thinks proper, take into custody and produce before any Designated Court any such person whom he has reason to believe to have committed any offence punishable under this Ordinance:

Provided that if such officer has reason to believe that the said written authorisation cannot be obtained without affording opportunity for the concealment of evidence or facility for the escape of an offender, he may, without the said written authorisation, enter and search such building, conveyance or place, at any time between sunset and sunrise after recording the grounds in writing.

(2) Where it is not practicable to seize the record or property, the officer authorised under sub-section (1), may make an order in writing to freeze such property, account, deposits or valuable securities maintained by any deposit taker about which a complaint has been made or credible information has been received or a reasonable suspicion exists of their having been connected with the promotion or conduct of any deposit taking scheme or arrangement in contravention of the provisions of this Ordinance and it shall be binding on the concerned bank or financial or market establishment to comply with the said order:

Provided that no bank or financial or market establishment shall freeze such account, deposit or valuable securities, for a period beyond thirty days unless the same is authorised by the order of the Designated Court:

Provided further that, if at any time, it becomes practicable to seize the frozen property, the officer authorised under sub-section (1) may seize such property.

Explanation.—For the purpose of this section, the expressions,—

(i) “freezing of account” shall mean that no transaction, whether deposit or withdrawal shall be allowed in the said account; and

(ii) “freezing of property” shall mean that no transfer, conversion, disposition or movement of property shall be allowed.

(3) Where an officer takes down any information in writing or records grounds for his belief or makes an order in writing under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), he shall, within a time of seventy-two hours send a copy thereof to the Designated Court in a sealed envelope and the owner or occupier of the building, conveyance or place shall, on application, be furnished, free of cost, with a copy of the same by–the Designated Court.

(4) All searches, seizures and arrests under this section shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

32. Application of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to proceedings before Designated Court.

(1) The Designated Court may take cognizance of offences under this Ordinance without the accused being committed to it for trial.

(2) Save as otherwise provided in section 31, the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 shall apply—

(a) to all arrests, searches and seizures made under this Ordinance;

(b)  to the proceedings under this Ordinance and for the purposes of the said provisions, the Designated Court shall be deemed to be a Court of Session and the persons conducting the prosecution before the Designated Court, shall be deemed to be Public Prosecutors.

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