Civil Appeal No. 7400-7401 of 1996 with Civil Appeal No. 7397, 7398, 7399 and 10969 of 1996

Decided On: 16.01.2003

Appellants: Fatima Mohd. Amin (Dead) through LR. Vs. Respondent: Union of India (UOI) and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
S.B. Sinha and A.R. Lakshmanan


1. The son of the appellant herein, namely, Syed Murtuza Hussain Babamiya was convicted on 30th September, 1968 in a Customs case for smuggling of gold and was sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs. 1,000 or in default thereof three months rigorous imprisonment.

2. On 18th February, 1975 and 4th March, 1976, two sons of the appellant, namely, Syed Murtuza Hussain Babamiya and Syed Arif Babamiya were detained under the detention orders issued by the authorities under the provisions of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Act, 1974 (hereinafter referred to as 'the COFEPOSA Act'). A show cause notice was issued on 29th October, 1976, inter alia, as to why forfeiture of one-tenth property of the appellant shall not be effected. On 29th April, 1980, the respondent-Authorities recorded additional reasons for forfeiture of the said property by including the ground as such the appellant being a related person, comes within the scope of the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976 (in short 'the SAFEMA') and the property held by her, namely, one-tenth share in Syed Villa as well as the property in Rose Villa was liable to be confiscated.

3. On the basis of the additional reasons recorded, another show cause notice was issued on 5th May, 1980 pertaining to the property known as Rose Villa, by which the property was sought to be confiscated.

4. On 12th August, 1980, by another order of SAFEMA Authorities directed forfeiture of the property of known as Rose Villa situated at Panchgani in the State of Maharashtra, on the ground that the appellant has failed to establish the source of income in respect of the said property.

5. The appellant preferred two appeals against both the orders and the appellate authority allowed the appeals and set aside the order under challenge on the ground that the detention order passed against her son had been set aside by the High Court, However, the appellate authority remanded the matter to the competent authority for further investigation in the matter. On 18th December, 1981 the competent authority recorded fresh reasons under Section 6 of the SAFEMA. On 24th October, 1986 an order was again passed directing forfeiture of the Rose Villa property. Aggrieved thereby the appellant preferred an appeal before the Appellate Tribunal. The Appellate Tribunal dismissed the appeal and confirmed the order passed by the Competent Authority. The said order was challenged by means of a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, but the same was dismissed. It is against the said judgment, the appellant has approached this Court by way of special leave petitions.

6. Shri H.N. Salve, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellant urged that these cases stand concluded by the decision of this Court in the case of Attorney General for India and Ors. v. Amratlal Prajivandas and Ors.,   MANU/SC/0774........