Income Tax Officer vs. V.Mohan (Supreme Court)

(CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 8592­8593 OF 2010)
Section 6(1) of the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976 nowhere provides that it is “mandatory” to serve the convict or detenu with a primary notice under that provision whilst initiating action against the relative of the convict. Indubitably, if the illegally acquired property is held by a person in his name and is also in possession thereof, being the relative of the convict and who is also a person to whom the Act applies, there is no need to issue notice to the convict or detenu much less primary notice as held by the High Court in the impugned judgment. For, Section 6(1) posits that notice must be given to the person who is holding the tainted property and is likely to be affected by the proposed forfeiture of the property. The person immediately and directly to be affected is the person who is the recorded owner of the property and in possession thereof himself or through some other person on his behalf. In the latter case, the burden of proof under Section 8 is not to be discharged by the convict or detenu, but by the person who holds the illegally acquired property either by himself or through any other person on his behalf