The police have the authority to seize any property they suspect of being stolen or that has been discovered in suspicious circumstances under Section 102 CrPC.

Police officers have the right to seize specific property under Section 102.

  1. Any police officer has the right to confiscate any property that is believed to have been stolen, discovered in suspicious circumstances, or suspected to have been used in the commission of a crime.
  2. If this police officer is a subordinate of the officer in charge of a police station, he or she must immediately notify that officer of the seizure.
  3. Any police officer who seizes property under subsection (1) must report the seizure to the magistrate with jurisdiction as soon as possible. If the property cannot be easily transported to the court or if it is difficult to find appropriate housing for the custody of the property, or if the continued retention of the property in police custody may not be deemed necessary for the purpose of an investigation, the police officer may transfer custody of the property.

The property seized under subsection (1) may be immediately sold by auction under the orders of the Superintendent of Police, and the provisions of Sections 457 and 458 shall, as nearly as may be practicable, apply to the net proceeds of such sale, provided that the property is subject to speedy and natural decay, the person entitled to possession of the property is unknown or absent, and the value of the property is less than 500 rupees.


The power granted to police officers by Section 102 serves a few crucial functions for the administration of justice.

  • In order to prevent future harm to the suspect’s transportable property, the police officer removes it from the owner’s possession. This is done to avoid impeding the inquiry into that property. It is better if the police officer takes custody of the property because the inquiry required by this section calls for a thorough investigation of the property as well.
  • The definition of property in this clause also includes illegal substances. Contraband is defined as something that is already prohibited to possess. This also includes illegally obtained drugs, unlicensed ammunition, guns, gang-related products, etc.
  • The police have the right to seize any property that contributes to the evidence or makes the investigation of the crime go more smoothly.


According to this provision, the police officer who is seizing the property must notify and submit a report of seizure to the inspector in charge of the police station if that inspector is a rank lower than the police officer who is seizing the property. In other words, if the property has been confiscated by a police officer other than the inspector in charge of the police station, that officer must report it to the inspector.

  • After the report has been given to the inspector in charge or the senior police officer, that inspector must next submit the report to the magistrate of that jurisdiction where the police station is situated.
  • This clause is just optional and does not have any requirements. This section’s Subclause 1 allows the police officer the option to seize property. This indicates that the police officer is not required to seize property in the event of any offense. The term “may” in subclause 1 denotes the police officer’s discretion. The word “may” should have been changed to “must” in subclause 1, making this clause mandatory.
  • Moveable and immovable property are the two types of property mentioned in this section.The Indian Penal Code’s Section 22 defines moveable property (IPC). Any type of property other than land, anything fastened to something fastened to something attached to land, are all included. In other words, anything that is anchored to the ground is not considered moveable property by law and will be deemed immovable instead. Only transportable property is referred to as “property” in Section 102; immovable property is not. In the next parts and case laws, this will be explored in more detail.
  • The section’s analysis reveals that the seized property should not be harmed, allowed to deteriorate, or damaged while in the custody of the police. For this reason, section 102(3) specifies that when the police believe that custody of the property is no longer required, they should assign it to someone who can take care of it and bring it to the court as and when required.


Binod Kumar v. The State of Bihar 

In the Binod Kumar v. The State of Bihar case, the plaintiff brought a civil lawsuit because the building’s construction was not completed within the allotted period. In the end, the respondent in the civil case filed a criminal charge for failing to pay the agreed-upon sum for constructing that building. Following that, the Hon’ble Supreme Court ruled that any effort to turn the civil case into a criminal one should be discouraged.

RK Dalmia etc v. Delhi Administration 

The Indian Penal Code 1860’s definition of “any property,” which does not just refer to movable property, must be applied to the phrase “any property” in sub-section (1) of Section 102 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Supreme Court declared in the RK Dalmia etc. vs. Delhi Administration case. In truth, the Indian Penal Code of 1860 states that whether a specific piece of property is subject to a crime or not determines whether it is covered by that crime’s specific provision.

Teesta Atul Setalvad v. The State of Gujarat

In “Teesta Atul Setalvad v. The State of Gujarat,” the petitioner argued that the police authority’s continuing confiscation of her bank account was invalid since it did not constitute property and was unrelated to the offence. She demanded that her account be unfrozen. After reviewing the matter, the Court determined that the bank account falls under the purview of Section 102 of the CrPC, would be considered property, and that the police’s freezing of the account in accordance with Section 102 is legal. The State of Maharashtra v. Tapas Neogy case, in which the Bombay High Court ruled that a defendant’s bank account does not constitute property and cannot be included in the definition of property, was overturned by the Hon. Supreme Court in this case. As a result, the bank account could not be seized under Section 102.

In November 2010, the Bombay High Court ruled that a police officer conducting a criminal investigation cannot take custody of and seize an immovable property out of suspicion.


Whether immovable property falls under the purview of Section 102 CrPC or not has been a hotly contested issue in Indian courts for many years. With the Nevada properties verdict, the Court ultimately concluded that the immovable property could not be confiscated under Section 102 CrPC.


  • Criminal PROCEDURE CODE, 1973
  • Ratanlal & Dhirajlal, Revised by B.M. Prasad & Manish Mohan, The Code of Criminal Procedure, LexisNexis, 2016

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