Gujarat HC: Seized Articles Not Claimed by Parties Can Be Directed by Court to Be Sold or Auctioned

Must Read

Lahore High Court Outlaws Two-Finger Virginity Test

The Lahore High Court in Pakistan has outlawed the use and conduct of virginity tests, namely, the use of...

London Court Rejects Assange’s Extradition – What Happens Now? 

Earlier last week, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, sitting in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court denied the Government of the U.S.A.'s...

Calcutta High Court Decides in Favor of Contractor as He Accidentally Pays an Excessively High Amount

Introduction The present writ petition has been filed for a writ in the nature of mandamus commanding the Respondents to...

Petition Filed in Delhi High Court Challenging the New Privacy Policy of WhatsApp

A petition has been raised before the Delhi High Court challenging the updated privacy policy of the instant messaging app, WhatsApp. It is accused of looking into the virtual activities of the users,

Bombay High Court Says Pleas Against the Rejection of Nomination Before the Polls Is Not Maintainable

Bombay High Court on Wednesday held that a candidate cannot challenge his nomination by filing a writ petition before a court prior to the polls after his nominations have already been rejected by the Returning Officer (RO) for the Panchayat elections of January 15.

Bombay HC: It Will Be Difficult if Civic Bodies Don’t Take Action on Illegal Constructions

The Bombay High Court said on Wednesday that if the Municipal Corporations do not take action on the illegal constructions, things will become very difficult. This observation was made by a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice Girish Kulkarni while hearing a PIL after the Bhiwandi building collapse on September 21st, 2020 which led to the death of 39 lives. Mumbai Thane, Ulhasnagar, Kalyan-Dombivli, Vasai-Virar, Navi Mumbai, and Bhiwandi-Nizampur corporations were filed as respondents.

Follow us

On 15th December 2020, a Single Judge Bench consisting of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashok Kumar C. Joshi heard the case of Harshadbhai Narshinhbhai Patel v. State of Gujarat via video conferencing.

The petition was filed by the petitioner seeking to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction under A.226 and A.227 of the Indian Constitution to release the muddamal vehicle- Maruti Swift Dizire registered with Kothamba Police Station, Mahisagar for the offence punishable under Sections 65(E), 81(Penalty for attempts or abetment) and 98(2) (Things liable to confiscation) of the Gujarat Prohibition Act.

Facts of the case

In this case, the petitioner was the owner of the vehicle Maruti Swift Dizire. The petitioner conducted business and other activities in a lawful manner and the vehicle was seized in a prohibition case registered under the Kothamba Police Station.

By virtue of Section 98 of the Gujarat Prohibition Act, there was a clear embargo for handing over the custody of the vehicle. As per the FIR, liquor worth Rs. 90,000 was found in the vehicle, due to which it was seized.

The seized vehicle was lying in the police station in an abandoned condition. Further, if the vehicle would be lying for a longer time at the police station, then there would be physical damage to it. The petition was thus filed for releasing the muddamal vehicle from the police custody. Therefore, Court’s interference was necessary and the application was allowed in the interest of justice.

Contentions of the Petitioner

Learned counsel for the petitioner placed reliance on several cases and contended that the Court in similar cases had provided relief in favour of the petitioner: Ritesh Bishmber Agrawal vs. State of Gujarat, 2019; Ganibhai Yusufbhai Jamroth vs. State of Gujarat, 2020; Ranjitbhai Ishvarbhai Chunara (Vaghela) vs. State of Gujarat, 2020; Zala Mahendrasinh Kirtisinh vs. State of Gujarat, 2020; Prajapati Rajendrakumar Rameshbhai Vs. State of Gujarat, 2020.

Contentions of the Respondent

Learned advocate for the Respondent contended that if the vehicle seized was released then there would be all chances that the offense would be committed once again in the future. The Counsel further contended that the vehicle was used for transporting illegal liquor.

The Counsel referred to the case of Anilkumar Ramlal @ Ramanlaji Mehta Vs. State of Gujarat, 2018 and contended that the Court in this case had rightfully disallowed the Muddamal Application by invoking Section 98(2) of the Prohibition Act. Further, he contended that, where more than 10 litre of liquor is seized, the vehicle cannot be released. 

Court’s Analysis

The Court referred to the case of Anilkumar Ramlal @ Ramanlaji Mehta v. State of Gujarat 2018, where the vehicle seized under the Prohibition Act was returned by exercising the powers under A.226 and A.227 at the initial stage.

The Court opined that when a vehicle is not claimed by its owner, the accused, insurance company, or a third party, then the Court can order the vehicle to be kept for auction. If a vehicle is insured, then the Insurance company should be informed in order to take possession of the vehicle if it is not claimed by other parties. But if the Insurance company does not take possession of the vehicle, then the Court can order it to be sold.

The Court referred to the case of Sunderbhai Ambalal Desai v. State of Gujarat, which held that:

“It is of no use to keep such seized vehicles at the police stations for a long period. It is for the Magistrate to pass appropriate orders immediately by taking appropriate bond and guarantee as well as security for return of the said vehicles, if required at any point of time.”

Court’s Decision

The Court directed the Magistrate to exercise and take immediate action to see the powers under Sec 451 (Order for custody and disposal of property pending trial in certain cases) of CrPC, and held that articles seized and kept under police custody should not exceed 15 days to one month. 

The Court allowed the petition by furnishing terms and conditions directed towards the petitioner on the release of the vehicle:

  • A bond should be furnished as valued under the Panchnama/seizure memo, and solvent surety of the equivalent amount.
  • An undertaking should be filed prior to the transfer of the vehicle, that prior permission of the Court shall be taken. 
  • Should produce the vehicle as and when directed by the Court.

Libertatem.in is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgments from the Court. Follow us on Google NewsInstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe to our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest News

Lahore High Court Outlaws Two-Finger Virginity Test

The Lahore High Court in Pakistan has outlawed the use and conduct of virginity tests, namely, the use of the “two-finger” virginity test and...

London Court Rejects Assange’s Extradition – What Happens Now? 

Earlier last week, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, sitting in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court denied the Government of the U.S.A.'s request to the U.K. to...

Calcutta High Court Decides in Favor of Contractor as He Accidentally Pays an Excessively High Amount

Introduction The present writ petition has been filed for a writ in the nature of mandamus commanding the Respondents to revoke the Petitioner’s offer as...

Petition Filed in Delhi High Court Challenging the New Privacy Policy of WhatsApp

A petition has been raised before the Delhi High Court challenging the updated privacy policy of the instant messaging app, WhatsApp. It is accused of looking into the virtual activities of the users,

Bombay High Court Says Pleas Against the Rejection of Nomination Before the Polls Is Not Maintainable

Bombay High Court on Wednesday held that a candidate cannot challenge his nomination by filing a writ petition before a court prior to the polls after his nominations have already been rejected by the Returning Officer (RO) for the Panchayat elections of January 15.

Bombay HC: It Will Be Difficult if Civic Bodies Don’t Take Action on Illegal Constructions

The Bombay High Court said on Wednesday that if the Municipal Corporations do not take action on the illegal constructions, things will become very difficult. This observation was made by a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice Girish Kulkarni while hearing a PIL after the Bhiwandi building collapse on September 21st, 2020 which led to the death of 39 lives. Mumbai Thane, Ulhasnagar, Kalyan-Dombivli, Vasai-Virar, Navi Mumbai, and Bhiwandi-Nizampur corporations were filed as respondents.

Uttarakhand High Court Directed State Authorities To Frame SOP Regarding Kumbh Mela 2021

Noticing the commencement date of Kumbh Mela 2021 amid pandemic from 27 February 2021, the Uttarakhand High Court on Monday expressed concern with regard to organizing and conducting of the Mela and directed State Authorities to discuss and resolve the logistical problems which can come in organizing the Mela during the pandemic time.

Writ Petition Not Maintainable Against Mahindra Finance, Being a Purely Private Body: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court reiterated that Writ Petition against the purely private body is not maintainable and dismissed the petition which was filed against Mahindra Finance Bank as Arif Khan v. Branch Manager Mahindra Finance Sultanpur & Another.

Publication of Notices for Inter-Faith Marriages No Longer Mandatory: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court has passed a landmark judgment that likely brings relief to inter-faith marriage. The Court on Wednesday said that the mandatory publication of Notices of Inter-Faith marriages will now be optional to protect the Privacy and Liberty of the Couple. The Court observed that the publication of the notice would “invade the fundamental rights of liberty and privacy”. Therefore, it has made it optional for the couple, they can now request in form of writing to a marriage officer to publish or not to publish a notice regarding the marriage.

Bombay High Court to NIA: Consider Health and Age of Varavara Rao Before Opposing His Bail Plea

The Bombay HC on Wednesday observed that ‘we are all humans’ and asked the National Investigation Agency and the Maharashtra Government to consider the health and age of the Telugu poet-activist Varavara Rao before making submissions in response to his bail plea application on medical grounds.

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -