Property of absconding accused once auctioned cannot be restored: Bombay HC



Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday held that property of an absconding accused once auctioned cannot be restored to him even if he subsequently surrenders before the authorities.

A division bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and AR Joshi dismissed a petition filed by film financier Bharat Shah's secretary Tarun Shah seeking restoration of his 1,000 square feet flat or give him an alternate flat in the same area.

Tarun Shah had also sought compensation for the loss of 420 grams of gold, 14 kg of silver and 14.95 carat of diamonds which he claimed had gone missing when the property was auctioned.

Shah was named as an accused in a MCOCA case for allegedly conniving with the underworld to target film personalities for extortion.

Since Shah was absconding at the time of trial, a lower court had issued proclamation notice in April 2001 while in January 2003, the trial court directed auction of his property as he failed to appear before it despite several notices.

Shah surrendered before the concerned court in November, 2004 by which time the property in question was already auctioned to the highest bidder.

Shah was eventually acquitted in the case, in June-2010, following which he moved the high court with the present petition in 2011.

The high court held that not only there was a delay in filing the petition but Shah had not even challenged the trial court order auctioning his property.

PTI