Madras High Court Orders Police to Release Seized Vehicle in Case of Alleged Illegal Transportaion of Rough Stone

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The petition, filed under Article 226 in Madras High Court. In the case of Anthinarayana Raj v. The District Collector and Anr. The filing of the petition is to issue a Writ of Mandamus. The purpose included the direction to be given to respondents to release the petitioner’s tipper Lorry vehicle, seized by the 4th respondent, the police. Justice Mr G.R Swaminathan heard and disposed of the petition with a direction to the petitioner.

Facts of the Case

The petitioner’s vehicle was seized in connection with the alleged illegal transportation of rough stone. 

Arguments of the Parties

The Counsel for the petitioner contended that even though the criminal case has been registered, the vehicle in question has not been produced before the jurisdictional Court. Hence, the Writ Court has the power to release the said vehicle. 

The Counsel for petitioner also states that the petitioner will sign the undertaking as to the vehicle not being involved in similar offences and that it will be produced before the authority when required. Therefore, ensuring it is not alienated.

Court’s Observation

The Court observed that if the petitioner breaches the undertaking, then the benefit of this order will stand recalled and the vehicle in question will be taken back to custody. It will be released only after getting orders from this Court on such terms as this Court may deem it fit to impose.

Court’s Decision

The Court ordered the release of the vehicle since the vehicle in the custody of the respondents is not going to serve any purpose, for same, the Court relied on the judgement of Sunderbhai Desai v. State of Gujarat but only on the following conditions:

  1. The petitioner is to pay a non-refundable fee of Rs. 10,000 in favour of the Officer-in-Charge, High Court Legal Services Committee, Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, Madurai for the welfare activities of a disadvantaged community.
  2. The vehicle shall not be encumbered or alienated.
  3. The petitioner needs to produce all the documents about the ownership of the vehicle.
  4. The petitioner shall produce the vehicle for enquiry when required by respondents and shall cooperate with respondents.

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