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Supreme Court validates law on confiscating ill-gotten wealth

New Delhi: Describing corruption as a national economic terror, the Supreme Court of India on Thursday authenticated the new law made by Orissa and Bihar government to impound suspicious properties (and ill-gotten wealth) of “a person holding high public office or political office” as a pre-trial.

A bench headed by Justices Anil R Dave and Dipak Misra said that the laws endorsed by the two governments are not “unjust, unfair and arbitrary” as they aim to curb corruption in offices by committing to the legislative.

“The legislative intent is to curb corruption at high places and requires the accused persons to face trial in the special court in a speedier manner and also to see that the beneficiaries of ill-gotten property or money do not enjoy the property or money during a trial,” the apex court observed.

The court also pointed out that the Bihar Act renders the warrant process asserted by the Code of Criminal Procedure for a trial of cases in front of a magistrate, the 2010 Rules might not have suggested for a summary procedure, according to leading daily.

It also said that the high offices have prospects to gather disproportionate assets barring his/her personal source of income, forming a distinctive class. “The legislature, regard being had to the position the public servant holds, has put them in a different class,” said the apex court confirming the constitutional legitimacy of the Orissa Special Courts Act, 2006 and the Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009.

The court was unambiguous that no corrupt individual should be tolerated and should not be allowed to seek protection under the gambit of law if proved to acquire a house or constructed or purchased by corrupt revenues. It also commented that a defendant should be provided with adequate opportunities under the laws and if an inquiry of the accused is proved valid by the judge than the order of confiscation should be passed.

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