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Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976

12. Constitution of Appellate Tribunal -

(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute an Appellate Tribunal to be called the Appellate Tribunal for Forfeited Property consisting of a Chairman and such number of other members (being of officers of the Central Government not below the rank of a Joint Secretary to the Government ) as the Central Government thinks fit, to be appointed by the Government for hearing appeals against the orders made under section 7, sub- section (1) of section9 or section 10.

(2) The Chairman of the Appellate Tribunal shall be a person who is or has been or is qualified to be a Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court.

(3) The terms and conditions of service of the Chairman and other members shall be such as may be prescribed.

(4) Any person aggrieved by an order of the competent authority made under section 7, sub- section (1) of section 9 or section10 , may, within forty- five days from the date on which the order is served on him, prefer an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal:

Provided that the Appellate Tribunal may entertain any appeal after the said period of forty- five days, but not after sixty days, from the date aforesaid if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time.

(5) On receipt of an appeal under sub- section (4) the Appellate Tribunal may, after giving an opportunity to the appellant to be heard, if he so desires, and after making such further enquiry it deems fit, confirm, modify or set aside the order appealed against.

(6) The powers and functions of the Appellate Tribunal may be exercised and discharged by Benches consisting of three members and constituted by the Chairman of the Appellate Tribunal.

[ (6A)(Note:- Ins. by Act No.55 of 1980, s.2 (w.e.f. 1-7-1981) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub- section (6), where the chairman considers it necessary so to do for the expeditious disposal of appeals under this section, he may constitute a Bench of two members and a Bench so constituted may exercise and discharge the powers and functions of the Appellate Tribunal:

Provided that if the members of a Bench so constituted differ on any point or points, they shall state the point or points on which they differ and refer the same to a third member (To be specified by the Chairman) for hearing on such point or points and such point or points shall be decided according to the opinion of that member. ]

(7) The Appellate Tribunal may regulate its own procedure

[(8) (Note:- Ins. by Act No.55 of 1980, s.2 (w.e.f. 1-7-1981) On application to the Appellate tribunal and on payment of the prescribed fee, the Tribunal may allow a party to any appeal or any person authorized in this behalf by such party to inspect at any time during office hours, any relevant records and registers of the Tribunal and obtain a certified copy of any part thereof.]

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