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Rama Devi v. State Of U.P. & Others - CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. 352 of 2007  RD-AH 707 (11 January 2007)
CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION NO. 352 OF 2007
State of U.P. and others...................... ....Respondents.
Hon. Mrs. Poonam Srivastav, J.
Heard learned counsel for the petitioner and learned A.G.A. for the State.
Submission on behalf of the petitioner is that she is a registered owner of Marshal Jeep No. U.P. 64E 4551. The registration certificate issued in the name of the petitioner as well as insurance paper relating to the said vehicle has been annexed as annexure nos. 7 and 8 to the writ petition. Perual of the insurance paper shows that the vehicle is duly registered up till 9.11.2007. It appears that the vehicle was used in a criminal case. The First Information Report has been annexed as annexure no.2 to the writ petition. The petitioner is not an accused in the said criminal case. Charge sheet has been submitted by the police on 11.11.2006. Copy of the same has been annexed as annexure no.5 to the writ petition. The petitioner moved an application for releasing the vehicle on 10.10.2006 and the same has been rejected by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mirzapur on 13.10.2006 for the reasons that investigation is going on and the vehicle has been involved in a criminal case, which is a case property and cannot be released. This order was challenged in revision. The revisional court dismissed the revision on 22.12.2006. Both the orders are impugned in the instant writ petition.
Learned counsel for the petitioner states that since the investigation has now been completed and charge sheet has been submitted by the police, the vehicle is standing at concerned police station since October, 2006 without proper care and it will suffer natural decay.
After hearing counsels for the respective parties, I agree to the submissions made by the counsel for the petitioner that the property which will suffer natural decay, was liable to be given to the person, who claimed ownership, especially when there is no rival claimant coming forward. The Apex Court in the case of Sunderbhai Ambalal Desai Vs. State of Gujarat A.I.R. 2003 S.C. page 638, has ruled that powers under Section 451 Cr.P.C. should be exercised expeditiously and judiciously. It would serve various purposes, namely; (i) Owner of the article would not suffer because of its remaining unused or by its misappropriation; (ii) Court or police would not be required to keep the article in safe custody; (iii) If the proper Panchanama before handing over the possession of the article is prepared, which can be used in evidence instead of its production before the court during the trial, it will serve the ends of justice. If necessary, evidence could also be recorded describing the nature of the property in detail; (iv) This jurisdiction of the court to record the evidence should be exercised promptly so that there may not be further chance of tampering with the articles.
In view of the aforesaid decision, I quash the impugned orders dated 22.12.2006 and 13.10.2006 directing the concerned Magistrate to pass afresh order on the application moved by the petitioner for its release, that is standing at the police station unattended. The Magistrate shall take an undertaking from the petitioner that the vehicle will not be sold or transferred to anybody during continuation of the proceedings in the court and also prepare a detailed description of the vehicle, if necessary photographs may be taken to ensure its use at the appropriate time. All these details shall be kept on record by the court concerned. The vehicle shall be released within a period of one month from the date a certified copy of this order is produced before him after taking adequate security, which shall not be more than approximate cost of the vehicle. This security shall be other than bank or cash guarantee. The vehicle shall be produced before the court by the petitioner as and when required by the court concerned.
With the aforesaid direction, the writ petition is finally disposed of.
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