Passport – Impounding – Police Power – Can a Court Impound the Passport ?
KINDLY BE AWARE : While the police may have the power to seize a passport under Section 102(1) Cr.P.C., it does not have the power to impound the same. Impounding of a passport can only be done by the passport authority under Section 10(3) of the Passports Act 1967. Even the Court cannot impound a passport. Though, Section 104, Cr.P.C. states that the Court may, if it thinks fit, impound any document or thing produced before it, this provision will only enable the Court to impound any document or thing other than a passport. This is because impounding passport is provided for in Section 10(3) of the Passports Act. The Passports Act is a special law while the Cr.P.C. is a general law. It is well settled that the special law prevails over the general law.
There is difference between seizing of a document and impounding a document. A seizure is made at a particular moment when a person or authority takes into his possession some property which was earlier not in his possession. Thus seizure is done at a particular moment of time. However, if after seizing of a property or document the said property or document is retained for some period of time, then such retention amounts to impounding of the property/or document.[Suresh Nanda V/s C.B.I. ]
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