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Ram Singh & Another v. State Of U.P. & Another - CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. 10667 of 2006  RD-AH 18037 (19 October 2006)
COURT NO. 45
CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION NO. 10667 OF 2006
Ram Singh and another ..........................Petitioners.
State of U.P and another..............................Respondents.
Hon. Mrs. Poonam Srivastava, J.
Heard Sri V.D. Agrawal and Ms. Sandhya Agrawal, learned counsels for the petitioners and learned A.G.A. for the State.
The petitioners claimed to be owners of bullocks, which were purchased by them from cattle market Magadh Khera, District Unnao, and were being carried in Truck Nos. U.P. 5A-7671 and U.P. 78M- 5109. The petitioners were intercepted and animals were seized by the police in pursuance to the First Information Report registered at case crime no. 182 of 2006 on 30.7.2006. A copy of the F.I.R. has been annexed as annexure no. 1 to the writ petition. An application under Section 451 Cr.P.C. for releasing the bullocks was moved on 7.8.2006 before the Judicial Magistrate, which was numbered as misc. application no. 846 of 2006. The receipt, depicting the purchase of bullocks was also produced before the Magistrate concerned. A copy of which has been brought on record by means of the annexure no.3. The application was dismissed on 18.8.2006, which was challenged in a criminal revision no. 345 of 2006 before the Additional Sessions Judge Etah, and the same was dismissed on 28.8.2006. Both the orders are impugned in the instant writ petition.
Reliance has been placed by the counsel for the petitioners on a number of decisions of this Court, Mohd. Islam and another Vs. State of U.P. 2001 (43) ACC, 32 and Raju Singh and others Vs. State of U.P. and others, 2001 (43) ACC, 419. On the basis of the aforesaid decisions, it is argued that the courts were always in favour of release of the seized animals or any perishable articles in favour of the person who claims to be the owner with a view to ensure that the seized articles, even though are case property, are not destroyed on account of its custody with the police. This fact has also been accepted by the Apex Court in a number of decisions. In the case of Sunderbhai Ambalal Desai Vs. State of Gujrat, AIR 2003 S.C., 638, it was held that the powers under Section 451 Cr.P.C. should be exercised expeditiously and judiciously. It would serve various purposes namely:-
(1) Owner of the articles would not suffer because of its remaining unused or by its misappropriation;
(2) Court or the police would not be required to keep the articles 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 course of 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.
The Apex Court has ruled that disposal of the articles kept in police custody, pending trial needs expeditious and judicious exercise of powers under Section 451 Cr.P.C. In the instant case, when the impugned order was passed by the Magistrate, it was in absence of report of the police and only it was on account of insistence of the applicants/petitioners but prayer for releasing the animals was rejected on account of the reason that criminal proceedings are continuing. No reason was given for rejection of the application. The revisional court also declined to release the bullocks in favour of the petitioners.
In view of the aforesaid decision, the writ petition is disposed of with a direction that the respondents shall release the animals taken into custody in connection with F.I.R. registered under Section 3/5/8 Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 after preparing panchanama and taking adequate security. Release of the animals should be ensured and to be done within fifteen days from the date a certified copy of this order is produced before the court concerned.
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