20 May 2024


Supreme Court

U. Subhadramma and ors. v. State of A.P.



SC: Cannot attach property of deceased person

The Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 1944 “excludes the possibility of proceedings against a dead person”, said the Supreme Court as it allowed an appeal against attachment of property of the accused who died during trial.

The accused expired while trial for misappropriation of over Rs.6 lakhs between 1987 and 1988 was ongoing. Nevertheless, the trial court found him guilty under Section 409 - criminal breach of trust by a public servant, banker , merchant or agent - and forgery under Section 468 of the Indian Penal Code. Subsequently, prosecutors applied for an attachment of property, which was approved by the district court and upheld by the high court.

The Supreme Court noted that, jurisdictionally, application for attachment could be made to the district judge within whose limits “the said person ordinarily resides or carries on business”. The same was incomprehensible in its application to a dead person who could not be said to be ordinarily resident or carrying on business anywhere.

It added, if under law orders of attachment were to be withdrawn upon acquittal, the same should result when prosecution abated or could not result in conviction due to death of the accused whose property was attached.


The State of Punjab vs. Jagir Singh, Baljit Singh and Karam Singh MANU/SC/0193/1973
Ranjitsing Brahmajeetsing Sharma vs. State of Maharashtra and Anr. MANU/SC/0268/2005

Tags : misappropriation attachment property deceased

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