CrPC Section 458: No Claimant Appears Within 6 Months – Procedure Explained

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CrPC Section 458: No Claimant Appears Within 6 Months – Procedure Explained

This section outlines the procedure to be followed when no claimant appears within six months to claim property that has been seized under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

1. State the Code

CrPC Section 458:

“Where any property seized under this Code has remained in the custody of the police or other officer for a period of six months without any claimant appearing to claim it, the police or other officer shall, on the expiry of that period, submit a report to the Magistrate specifying the nature of the property, the place where it was seized and the circumstances under which it was seized.”

2. Explanation

When property is seized by the police or other authorities during an investigation, it is generally held in custody for a reasonable time to allow any rightful claimant to come forward.

If, after six months, no one claims the property, Section 458 directs the police or other officer to report this fact to the Magistrate.

The report should include details about the property, its seizure location, and the circumstances surrounding its seizure.

3. Illustration

Imagine the police seize a stolen motorcycle during an investigation. They hold it in custody. After six months, no one comes forward to claim the motorcycle.

In this case, the police would submit a report to the Magistrate, detailing the motorcycle’s description, the seizure location, and the circumstances of the seizure (e.g., the arrest of a suspect in possession of the bike).

4. Common Questions and Answers

  • Q: What happens to the property after the report is submitted?
    A: The Magistrate may then order the disposal of the property according to law, which could include:

    • Returning it to the rightful owner (if found)
    • Auctioning it to recover expenses incurred by the police in holding it
    • Forfeiting it to the government
  • Q: Can a claimant appear after the 6-month period?
    A: Yes, but it may be more difficult to recover the property as the Magistrate will have to decide based on the evidence and the circumstances.
  • Q: What if the property is perishable?
    A: In such cases, the Magistrate may order the sale or disposal of the property before the 6-month period to prevent its deterioration.
Also Read  Section 294 CrPC: Formal Proof Not Required for Certain Documents - Only Title Needed
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