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The Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002


20. Retention of property.-

1.     Where any property has been seized under section 17 or section 18, 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 e recorded by him in writing) that such property is required to be retained for the purposes of adjudication under section 8, such property may be retained for a period not exceeding three months from the end of the month in which such property was seize .

2.     The officer authorised by the Director immediately after he has passed an order for retention of the property for purposes of adjudication under section 8 shall 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 unless the Adjudicating Authority permits retention of such property beyond the said period.

4.     The Adjudicating Authority, before authorising the retention 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 (6) of section 8, the Adjudicating Authority shall direct the release of all properties other than the properties involved in money-laundering to the person from whom such properties were seized.

6.     Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (5), the Director or any officer authorised by him in this behalf may withhold the release of any property until filing of appeal under section 26 or forty-five days from the date of order under sub-section (5), whichever is earlier, if he is of the opinion that such property is relevant for the proceedings before the Appellate Tribunal.



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