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The Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002

21. Retention of records.-

1.  Where any records have been seized, under section 17, or section 18, and the Investigating Officer or any other officer authorised by the Director in this behalf has reason to believe that any of such records are required to be retained for any inquiry under this Act, he may retain such records for a period not exceeding three months from the end of the month in which such records were seized.

2.  The person, from whom records were seized, shall be entitled to obtain copies of records retained under sub-section (1).

3.  On the expiry of the period specified under sub-section (1), the records shall be returned to the person from whom such records were seized unless the Adjudicating Authority permits retention of such records beyond the said period.

4.  The Adjudicating Authority, before authorising the retention of such records beyond the period mentioned in sub-section (1), shall satisfy himself that the records are required for the purposes of adjudication under section 8.

5.  After passing of an order of confiscation under sub-section (6) of section 8, the Adjudicating Authority shall direct the release of the records to the person from whom such records 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 records until filing of appeal under section 26 or after forty-five days from the date of order under sub-section (5), whichever is earlier, if he is of the opinion that such records are relevant for the proceedings before the Appellate Tribunal.

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