CrPC Section 105I: Fine in Lieu of Forfeiture – Explained

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CrPC Section 105I: Fine in Lieu of Forfeiture

This section deals with the option of paying a fine instead of forfeiting property seized under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

1. The Code:

Section 105I of the CrPC states:

“Where any property is liable to forfeiture under this Code, the Magistrate may, instead of ordering forfeiture, direct that the person in whose possession the property was found shall pay such fine as the Magistrate thinks fit, not exceeding the value of the property, in lieu of forfeiture.”

2. Explanation:

  • This section gives the Magistrate discretionary power to impose a fine instead of forfeiting property seized during a criminal investigation.
  • The fine amount cannot exceed the value of the property.
  • This provision is intended to be a lenient measure, allowing the person to avoid losing their property by paying a financial penalty.

3. Illustration:

Imagine a scenario where a police officer seizes a car suspected to have been used in a crime. The car is liable for forfeiture under the CrPC. However, the Magistrate, after considering the circumstances, feels that forfeiting the car would be too harsh a punishment. Instead, the Magistrate may impose a fine on the owner of the car, equal to its market value, in lieu of forfeiture.

4. Common Questions and Answers:

Q1: What is the basis for the Magistrate’s discretion to impose a fine in lieu of forfeiture?

A1:

The Magistrate’s discretion is based on the facts of the case and the circumstances surrounding the seizure of the property. Factors like the gravity of the offense, the involvement of the person in whose possession the property was found, and the potential hardship caused by forfeiture are considered.

Also Read  CrPC Section 95: Forfeiture of Publications & Search Warrants

Q2: Can the Magistrate always impose a fine in lieu of forfeiture?

A2:

No. The Magistrate’s discretion is not absolute. The section emphasizes that the fine should not exceed the value of the property. Moreover, the Magistrate may not choose to impose a fine if the forfeiture is deemed essential for the effective administration of justice.

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