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Smt. Mustari Begum v. District Magistrate And Others - CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. 1461 of 2005 [2005] RD-AH 430 (16 February 2005)


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Court No. 21

Criminal Misc. Writ Petition No. 1461 of 2005

Smt. Mustari Begum vs. District Magistrate & others



We have heard the learned counsel for the   parties and  also perused  the materials on record.

This petition has been brought for quashing the order dated 28th January 2005 passed by the District Magistrate, Kanpur Nagar whereby declining to release the property attached under Section 14 (1) of the U.P. Gangsters & Anti Social Activities Act, 1986 (which is herein after referred to as ''the Act), on the representation duly supported by material evidence so made by Ms. Mustari Begum. It has further been mentioned that the evidence so furnished by her was not properly perused by the District Magistrate and arbitrarily proceeded to retain the property by rejecting the credible and cogent evidence. Further in view of the provisions of Section 16 of the Act the District Magistrate had no jurisdiction to terminate the proceedings at his end. Where he decides not to release the property under Sub-Section 2 of Section 15 of the Act he is under obligation to refer the matter to the court of competent jurisdiction. It shall be useful to refer the provisions of Section 15 and 16 of the Act:

"15. Release  of property.--  (1) Where  any property is attached under  Section 14,  the claimant thereof may,  within three  months from the  date of knowledge of such attachment, make as representation  to the District Magistrate showing  the circumstances in  and the   sources by which  such  property was acquitted by him.

(2) If the District  Magistrate is satisfied about the genuineness of the claim made under sub-section (1) he shall forthwith release the property from attachment and thereupon  such property shall be made over to the claimant.

16. Inquiry into the character of acquisition of property by court.--(1) Where  no representation is made within the period specified in  sub-section  (1)  of Section 15 or the District magistrate does not release the  property under sub-section  (2) of Section 15,  he shall  refer the matter with his  report to the Court  having jurisdiction to try an offence under this Act."

A conjoint reading of both the sections as a whole leaves no manner of doubt that where the Authority concerned finds no substance in the representation of any of the claimants he has to refer the matter for adjudication to proper forum as provided under Section 16 of the Act. On a reference, the Court specified under the Act, is required to proceed in accordance with the provisions of the Act. He is bound to consider the evidence and arrive at an independent conclusion as to the claim of the petitioner irrespective of the fact that the District Magistrate rejected the claim.

Arrangements in Sections 15 and 16 is quite clear and unambiguous. It does not require any interpretation. It is a trite that the jurisdiction of the Court to interpret a statute can be invoked only in a case of ambiguity. The Court cannot enlarge the scope of legislation or intention when the language of the statute is plain and unambiguous. Narrow and pedantic construction may not always be given effect to. Courts should avoid a construction which would reduce the legislation to futility. It is also well settled that every statute is to be interpreted without any violence to its language. Here in this case, the District Magistrate has made abrupt ending of the proceedings without taking into consideration the provisions as mandated under Section  16 of the Act. He was required to follow the procedures as provided in the said Act.

We have gone through the impugned order dated 28th January 2005 wherein the District Magistrate had arrived to the conclusion that the property in question does not belong to the representationist and rejected the representation. That would imply that the District Magistrate has declined to release the property in his favour.

The petitioner may make a proper application before the District Magistrate for inviting the attention to the provisions of Section 16 of the Act, which shall be disposed of expeditiously, as far as possible within a period of four weeks from the date of presentation of the application.

With the aforesaid directions, the petition is finally disposed of.




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