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Section 20 Prevention of Money-laundering Act'02: Retention of Property

Section 20 (Retention of property) under Chapter V (Summons, Searches and Seizures, etc) of the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 —

❝(1) Where any property has been seized under section 17 or section 18 or frozen under sub-section (1A) of section 17 and the officer authorised by the Director in this behalf has, on the basis of material in his possession, reason to believe (the reason for such belief to be recorded by him in writing) that such property is required to be retained for the purposes of adjudication under section 8, such property may, if seized, be retained or if frozen, may continue to remain frozen, for a period not exceeding one hundred and eighty days from the day on which such property was seized or frozen, as the case may be.

(2) The officer authorised by the Director shall, immediately after he has passed an order for retention or continuation of freezing of the property for purposes of adjudication under section 8, forward a copy of the order along with the material in his possession, referred to in sub-section (1), to the Adjudicating Authority, in a sealed envelope, in the manner as may be prescribed and such Adjudicating Authority shall keep such order and material for such period as may be prescribed.

(3) On the expiry of the period specified in sub-section (1), the property shall be returned to the person from whom such property was seized or whose property was ordered to be frozen unless the Adjudicating Authority permits retention or continuation of freezing of such property beyond the said period.

(4) The Adjudicating Authority, before authorising the retention or continuation of freezing of such property beyond the period specified in sub-section (1), shall satisfy himself that the property is prima facie involved in money-laundering and the property is required for the purposes of adjudication under section 8.

(5) After passing the order of confiscation under sub-section (5) or sub-section (7) of section 8, Special Court, shall direct the release of all property other than the property involved in money-laundering to the person from whom such property was seized or the persons entitled to receive it.

(6) Where an order releasing the property has been made by the Special Court under sub-section (6) of section 8 or by the Adjudicating Authority under section 58B or sub-section (2A) of section 60, the Director or any officer authorised by him in this behalf may withhold the release of any such property for a period of ninety days from the date of receipt of such order, if he is of the opinion that such property is relevant for the appeal proceedings under this Act.❞



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Notes:

The Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (Act No. 15 of 2003) was amended by:

1. Prevention of Money-Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2005 (No. 20 of 2005) (w.e.f. 01-7-2005);
2. Prevention of Money-Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2009 (No. 21 of 2009) (w.e.f. 01-6-2009);
3. Prevention of Money-Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2012 (No. 02 of 2013) (w.e.f. 15-2-2013);
4. Finance Act, 2015 (No. 20 of 2015) (w.e.f. 14-5-2015);
5. Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 (No. 22 of 2015) (w.e.f. 1-4-2016);
6. Finance Act, 2016 (No. 28 of 2016) (w.e.f. 01-6-2016);
7. Finance Act, 2018 (No. 13 of 2018) (w.e.f. 19-4-2018);
8. Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018 (No. 16 of 2018) (w.e.f. 26-7-2018).

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