Provisional Attachment Orders tentative, subjected to Judicial Review: Madhya Pradesh High Court [Read Order]

Provisional Attachment Orders - Judicial Review - Madhya Pradesh High Court - Taxscan

The Madhya Pradesh High Court held that the Provisional Attachment Orders are tentative, and are subjected to Judicial Review.

The appellant, Abhay Nigam purchased plots through various registered sale deeds and registered agreement to sell. The appellants invested their lifetime savings for purchase of plots after seeking permission of different statutory bodies such as Town & Country Planning, Indore Municipal Corporation, RERA etc. The respondent authorities issued the impugned provisional attachment order whereby plots purchased by appellants were attached. However, no such action was taken against 98 similarly situated plot holders which amounts to hostile discrimination with appellants. As a consequence of attachment of their property, the appellants are deprived to enjoy their property which hits Article 300 A of the constitution.

Mr. R.S. Chhabra, counsel for appellants urged that the plots in question were not purchased by using proceeds of crime and, therefore, the provisions of The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 are not applicable to them. Section 8 can be made applicable only against the person against whom a complaint has been made or an application has been preferred or Section 18(10) of the said Act whereas no such complaint or application was preferred by anybody. In this backdrop, alternative remedy was not an absolute bar for the appellants.

Mr. Phadke, Asstt. Solicitor General appearing for the respondents supported the impugned order and submits that learned Single Judge has rightly held that appellant has an inhouse remedy under the PML Act. The impugned order of attachment of property is only a “provisional order”. The appellants can take all possible grounds before the adjudicating authority who will look into the matter and will decide the same in accordance with law.

The division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Sujoy Paul held that the order of provisional attachment is not a final order and the appellants have a remedy to raise all the pleas including that of jurisdiction of attaching authority and discrimination before the adjudicating authority.

Thus, the Court said that in the event these points are raised by the appellants before the adjudicating authority, the adjudicating authority shall take into account these grounds and shall pass appropriate order in accordance with law expeditiously preferably within 30 days from the date such plea is taken by the appellants.

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