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J.ALICE MARY versus THE INSPECTOR OF POLICE

High Court of Madras

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J.Alice Mary v. The Inspector of Police - Crl.O.P.(MD).No.4892 of 2007, [2007] RD-TN 2151 (3 July 2007)

BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

DATED : 03/07/2007

CORAM

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE G.RAJASURIA

Crl.O.P.(MD).No.4892 of 2007,

Crl.O.P.(MD).No.3710 of 2007

and

M.P.(MD)No.2 of 2007

J.Alice Mary ... Petitioner in both the petitions

Vs

1.The Inspector of Police,

Suchindram Police Station,

Kanyakumari District.

2.The Branch Manager,

Indian Bank,

Azhagappapuram Branch,

Kanyakumari District. ... Respondents in Crl.O.P.No.4892 of 2007

1.The Inspector of Police,

Suchindram Police Station,

Kanyakumari District.

2.The Branch Manager,

State Bank of Trivancore,

Mylady Branch,

Kanyakumari District. ... Respondents in Crl.O.P.No.3710 of 2007

Prayer in Crl.O.P(MD)No.4892 of 2007: Petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, to direct the respondents herein to permit her to operate the petitioner's S.B.A/c.No.16280 in the second respondent's Bank. Prayer in Crl.O.P(MD)No.3710 of 2007: Petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, to call for the records of the second respondent herein, relating to the proceedings AGM/1/CN1/DCP/Gen/54 dated 01.06.2005 and quash the same.

For Petitioner : Mr.K.P.Krishnadoss

For Respondents: Mr.P.Rajendran

Government Advocate (Crl. Side) for R1.

Mr.N.Murugesh for R2.

:COMMON ORDER



Crl.O.P(MD)No.4892 of 2007 has been filed to direct the respondents herein to permit her to operate the petitioner's S.B.A/c.No.16280 in the second respondent's Bank.

2. Crl.O.P(MD)No.3710 of 2007 has been filed to call for the records of the second respondent herein, relating to the proceedings AGM/1/CN1/DCP/Gen/54 dated 01.06.2005 and quash the same.

3. The background facts absolutely necessary for the disposal of these petitions would run thus:

The police registered the case in Cr.No.343 of 2005 for the offences punishable under Sections 468, 471, 420 I.P.C and 12(b) of Indian Passport Act, 1967, as against one Jeyarajan, the husband of the petitioner. The police in the course of investigation, freezed the bank accounts of the petitioner, even though she is not an accused. The main grievance of the petitioner is that the police without adhering to Section 102 Cr.P.C., simply freezed the accounts and thereby violated the mandatory provisions of law and accordingly, the freezed accounts should be defreezed so as to enable the petitioner to operate her Bank accounts freely. In support of the contention, the learned counsel for the petitioner, would cite the following decisions:

(i) Rajamani v. The Inspector of Police and 2 others reported in 2004-1- L.W.(Crl.)38.

(ii) R.Chandrasekar v. Inspector of Police, Salem reported in 2003 CRL.L.J 294.

4. Placing reliance on the aforesaid precedents, he would develop his argument to the effect that once, it is found that the procedural formalities have not been complied with, then the order should be set aside, whereas the learned Government Advocate (Criminal Side) would submit that earlier, the police has not sent any communication to the learned Magistrate or to the account holder, namely the petitioner relating to freezing of the account and now then, they remedied it. But, so far no proof has been furnished relating to such remedial measure taken by the police.

5. I carefully perused the aforesaid decisions of this Court which would show that in both the matters, the Court was fully satisfied that there was no nexus between the freezing of the account and the criminal case which were under investigation. But, here the facts are different. The petitioner happened to be the wife of the accused and she has chosen to approach this Court on the ground that she is living separately from her husband who is the accused and that her Bank accounts are nothing to do with it. Simply because, the Bank accounts stand in the name of the wife, the petitioner herein, and not in the accused's name, the Court cannot jump to the conclusion that the amounts in the petitioner's accounts are not tainted money.

6. The learned Counsel for the petitioner would highlight that the case in Cr.No.343 of 2005 relating to Crl.O.P.No.3710 of 2007 is relating to Passport case and it is nothing to do with the embezzlement of money. Whereas the learned Government Advocate (Criminal Side) would submit that while recording the confession in Cr.No.343 of 2005, the accused himself voluntarily confessed about his involvement in the case registered by Coimbatore police which is relating to embezzlement.

7. Relating to Crl.O.P.No.4892 of 2007, the learned Counsel for the petitioner would submit that no formal order to freeze the petitioner's Bank accounts was issued by the police at all. Hence, in such circumstance, relating to Crl.O.P.No.4892 of 2007, what I would observe is that if really, there is no freezing order relating to the Bank accounts, I am at loss to understand why there should be a Criminal Original Petition to be filed at all. If at all, the account holder is aggrieved, he should approach the Consumer Forum.

8. Relating to Crl.O.P.No.3710 of 2007, it is obvious and clear that the police has come forward with a specific allegation that it is a tainted money and the husband passed on the embezzled money to the wife and before this Court, no records placed to show that the accused is having independent source of income to account for such huge amounts in her bank accounts. But, the fact remains that the police failed to comply with the mandates contained in Section 102 Cr.P.C and such a conduct on the part of the police officer is erroneous, as envisaged in the aforesaid decisions. But, in my considered opinion, this Court cannot simply permit the petitioner to take away the accounts and hamper the investigation. Technicalities are hand maids of justice and mere non-compliance would not enure to the benefit of the accessory to thwart justice.

9. When there are serious allegations of embezzlement and the police also prima facie could show that the money in that Bank accounts is tainted money, the Court cannot countenance that there is no nexus between the money in the Bank and the embezzlement. It is for the learned Magistrate to deal with the issue. The petitioner has been handicapped by the inaction of the police as she was not served with notice. Hence, in these circumstances, the following direction is issued:

10. The police officer if not already informed the Magistrate as well as the petitioner, he shall do it immediately within a week from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. Thereupon, the petitioner on receipt of the notice, shall be entitled to approach the learned Magistrate for getting the Bank account defreezed by setting out reasons and thereupon, it is open for the Magistrate to pass suitable orders whether to defreeze it or not. The learned Magistrate on receipt of a petition from the petitioner for defreezing the account, shall dispose of it within a period of fifteen days.

11. With the above direction, both the petitions are disposed of. Consequently, M.P(MD).No.2 of 2006 in Crl.O.P.(MD)No.3710 of 2007 is closed. rsb

To

1.The Inspector of Police,

Suchindram Police Station,

Kanyakumari District.

2.The Public Prosecutor,

Madurai Bench of Madras High Court,

Madurai.




Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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