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Report No. 148

3.2. The Forfeiture Act, 1859 (9 of 1859).-

The Forfeiture Act, 1859 was enacted to provide for the adjudication of claims to property seized as forfeited. The Act was enacted to give validity to certain forfeitures or seizures of property which head been or were liable to be called in question on the ground of some irregularity of procedure or defect or infirmity in recording the convictions of the parties whose property had been forfeited or seized or of the absence of any adjudication of forfeiture as required by the Forfeiture Act, 1857 (Act 25 of 1857).

Sections 1-15, which dealt with constitution, procedure etc. of Special Commission Courts were repealed by the Repealing Act, 1868 (Act No. 8 of 1868).

Section 16 of the Act debars the questioning by any court in any suit or proceedings relating to forfeiture of property on convictions. Section 17 debars the questioning of any conviction on the ground that the capacity of the convicting officer is not shown in the record. Similarly, section 18 lays down that the attachment of property without adjudication of forfeiture by any officer of the Government cannot be questioned unless the offender be acquitted within one year etc.

Section 18 made an exception in respect of persons entitled to pardon upon Her Mejesty's proclamation to be published in Extraordinary Gazette of Calcutta. The title of the Act is misleading as it gives the impression that the general criminal law of the country authorises forfeiture. The Act was meant only to validate certain forfeitures. It should be repealed.

Repeal of certain Pre-1947 Central Acts Back

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