|CRLP 11337 / 2013||CRLPSR 35869 / 2013|
published in http://18.104.22.168/hcorders/orders/2013/crlp/crlp_11337_2013.html
THE HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE C.PRAVEEN KUMAR
This Criminal Petition is filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C., seeking release of the auto bearing registration No. AP 20 TA 5074 in favour of the petitioner seized in Cr.No.289/2013 of Paloncha (T) Police Station, Khammam District, which was registered for an offence punishable under section 34(a) of the A.P. Excise Act.
2. The allegations in the report would disclose that on 10-8-13 at 4 PM the as per the instructions of the SHO, Paloncha Town Police Station, while the informant and another were going towards Old Paloncha, noticed one auto coming towards them. On observing the same, the accused who was driving the auto tried to escape. The informant and another chased him, intercepted the auto and on search, they found a bag containing illicit liquor. The Police seized the auto and illicit liquor in the presence of mediators.
3. The learned counsel for the petitioner submits that there is every possibility of vehicle getting damaged if it is kept idle and exposed to sun and light, if the vehicle is not released in favour of the petitioner.
4. On instructions, the learned Public Prosecutor though opposed the petition but did not dispute the ownership of the vehicle.
5. In Sunderbhai Ambalal Desai V. State of
Gujarat the Hon'ble Apex Court has held that in case of vehicles seized during investigation, they should not be allowed to deteriorate by being kept unused and unattended in the premises of the police stations. The vehicle has to be entrusted to the interim custody of the owner subject to certain terms and conditions. The Apex Court held that :
1. owner of the article would not suffer because of its remaining unused or by its misappropriation;
2. court or the police would not be required to keep the article in safe custody;
3. if the proper panchnama before handing over possession of article is prepared, that can be used in evidence instead of its production before the court during the trial. If necessary, evidence could also be recorded describing the nature of the property in detail; and
4. this jurisdiction of the court to record evidence should be exercised promptly so that there may not be further chance of tampering with the articles.
6. In view of the judgment of the
Apex Court referred to above, and taking into consideration the fact of vehicle getting damaged if it is kept idle, it would be appropriate to grant interim custody of the vehicle in favour of the petitioner on certain terms and conditions.
7. Accordingly, the criminal petition is allowed and
(1) the interim custody of the vehicle bearing registration No. AP 20 TA 5074 shall be given to the petitioner on his executing a personal bond for Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rs. One lakhs only) with one surety for a like sum, to the satisfaction of II Additional Judicial Magistrate of First Class, Kothagudem.
(2) The petitioner shall produce the original RC of the vehicle before the concerned court.
(3) The petitioner shall not sell, alienate, mortgage or alter the physical features of the vehicle.
(4) The petitioner shall give an undertaking to produce the vehicle as and when required by the Magistrate.
Miscellaneous Petitions, if any, shall stand closed.
C. PRAVEEN KUMAR, J.
Note: Issue CC by 3-10-13