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Section 8 of Prevention of Money-laundering Act 2002: Adjudication

Section 8 (Adjudication) under Chapter III (Attachment, Adjudication and Confiscation) of the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 —

❝(1) On receipt of a complaint under sub-section (5) of section 5, or applications made under sub-section (4) of section 17 or under sub-section (10) of section 18, if the Adjudicating Authority has reason to believe that any person has committed an offence under section 3 or is in possession of proceeds of crime, it may serve a notice of not less than thirty days on such person calling upon him to indicate the sources of his income, earning or assets, out of which or by means of which he has acquired the property attached under sub-section (1) of section 5, or, seized or frozen under section 17 or section 18, the evidence on which he relies and other relevant information and particulars, and to show cause why all or any of such properties should not be declared to be the properties involved in money-laundering and confiscated by the Central Government:

 Provided that where a notice under this sub-section specifies any property as being held by a person on behalf of any other person, a copy of such notice shall also be served upon such other person:

 Provided further that where such property is held jointly by more than one person, such notice shall be served to all persons holding such property.

(2) The Adjudicating Authority shall, after—
 (a) considering the reply, if any, to the notice issued under sub-section (1);
 (b) hearing the aggrieved person and the Director or any other officer authorised by him in this behalf; and
 (c) taking into account all relevant materials placed on record before him,

 by an order, record a finding whether all or any of the properties referred to in the notice issued under sub-section (1) are involved in money-laundering:

 Provided that if the property is claimed by a person, other than a person to whom the notice had been issued, such person shall also be given an opportunity of being heard to prove that the property is not involved in money-laundering.

(3) Where the Adjudicating Authority decides under sub-section (2) that any property is involved in money-laundering, he shall, by an order in writing, confirm the attachment of the property made under sub-section (1) of section 5 or retention of property or record seized or frozen under section 17 or section 18 and record a finding to that effect, whereupon such attachment or retention or freezing of the seized or frozen property or record shall—
 (a) continue during investigation for a period not exceeding ninety days or the pendency of the proceedings relating to any offence under this Act before a court or under the corresponding law of any other country, before the competent court of criminal jurisdiction outside India, as the case may be; and
 (b) become final after an order of confiscation is passed under sub-section (5) or sub-section (7) of section 8 or section 58B or sub-section (2A) of section 60 by the Special Court;

(4) Where the provisional order of attachment made under sub-section (1) of section 5 has been confirmed under sub-section (3), the Director or any other officer authorised by him in this behalf shall forthwith take the possession of the property attached under section 5 or frozen under sub-section (1A) of section 17, in such manner as may be prescribed:

 Provided that if it is not practicable to take possession of a property frozen under sub-section (1A) of section 17, the order of confiscation shall have the same effect as if the property had been taken possession of.

(5) Where on conclusion of a trial of an offence under this Act, the Special Court finds that the offence of money-laundering has been committed, it shall order that such property involved in the money-laundering or which has been used for commission of the offence of money-laundering shall stand confiscated to the Central Government.

(6) Where on conclusion of a trial under this Act, the Special Court finds that the offence of money-laundering has not taken place or the property is not involved in money-laundering, it shall order release of such property to the person entitled to receive it.

(7) Where the trial under this Act cannot be conducted by reason of the death of the accused or the accused being declared a proclaimed offender or for any other reason or having commenced but could not be concluded, the Special Court shall, on an application moved by the Director or a person claiming to be entitled to possession of a property in respect of which an order has been passed under sub-section (3) of section 8, pass appropriate orders regarding confiscation or release of the property, as the case may be, involved in the offence of money-laundering after having regard to the material before it.

(8) Where a property stands confiscated to the Central Government under sub-section (5), the Special Court, in such manner as may be prescribed, may also direct the Central Government to restore such confiscated property or part thereof of a claimant with a legitimate interest in the property, who may have suffered a quantifiable loss as a result of the offence of money laundering:

 Provided that the Special Court shall not consider such claim unless it is satisfied that the claimant has acted in good faith and has suffered the loss despite having taken all reasonable precautions and is not involved in the offence of money laundering:

 Provided further that the Special Court may, if it thinks fit, consider the claim of the claimant for the purposes of restoration of such properties during the trial of the case in such manner as may be prescribed.❞



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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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