The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of two laws of Bihar and Odisha which allow confiscation of properties of the accused in corruption cases, including those occupying high public or political office.
The court has upheld the validity of Odisha Special Courts Act, 2006 and Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009, passed by the two state assemblies, which allow setting up of special courts and confiscation of properties, saying the laws do not violate constitutional provisions.
According to the court, establishment of Special Courts under these Acts were “ not violative of Article 247 of the Constitution“. Article 247 deals with Power of Parliament to provide for the establishment of certain additional courts.
The court has also rejected the submission of petitioners that confiscation of properties before conviction was a pre-trial punishment. The court says that a confiscation, which is interim in nature, is not a punishment as envisaged in law and hence, it is difficult to accept the submission that it is a pre-trial punishment.
The court has also rejected the contention that a special class was being created to try them which is violative of Article 14 of the constitution.
The court also described corruption as a “ national economic terror”.
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