During the pendency of the confiscation procedure, the petitioner shall also submit the affidavits/undertakings, the petitioner shall not create any third party right or interest in respect of the vehicle and shall not alienate the vehicle during this period is upheld by the High Court of Patna through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE and HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S. KUMAR in the case of Upendra Prasad Vs. The State of Bihar (Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.19073 of 2021)
Brief facts of the case are that Petitioner claims to be the owner of the confiscated car, which he alleges was stolen on September 29, 2019, for which he filed a police report. While petitioner cannot be held guilty for the transportation of unlawful liquor, the vehicle is subject to confiscation because it was used for that purpose. Furthermore, qualified counsel for the petitioner contends that no confiscation proceedings have yet been commenced.
the petitioner is the owner of a seized vehicle that was stolen by unknown thieves on September 29, 2019, for which he has filed a FIR under Maharajganj Police station for the offence punishable under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code. The stolen vehicle was being used by miscreants for the transportation of unlawful liquor, with 600 litres of unauthorised spirit recovered by the police. The culprits fled leaving the vehicle, which was seized by the police, Amnour P.S. for the offence punishable under Section 30(a) of the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016.
In light of the facts and circumstances of the case, the District Magistrate/Confiscating Officer Saran at Chapra is directed to initiate confiscation proceedings, if not already begun, and provisionally release the vehicle of petitioner after due identification of ownership of the vehicle which was stolen and subsequently recovered and seized by the police in an excise case on production of ownership and registration papers with respect to the vehicle in question in his name with two sureties (one local) to the extent of the value of the vehicle as indicated in the insurance document.
During the pendency of the confiscation procedure, the petitioner shall also submit the following affidavits/undertakings,
- the petitioner shall not create any third party right or interest in respect of the vehicle and shall not alienate the vehicle during this period
- The petitioner must provide an undertaking to produce the vehicle as and when demanded by the confiscating authority.
- Prior to the vehicle’s release, a Panchanama will be created in which a photograph of the vehicle will be taken, verified by the petitioner, and kept on file so that it can be used as supplementary evidence in the future if necessary.
- The petitioner must sign a promise not to oppose the Panchanama in question.
With these observations and directions, the writ petition, as well as any interlocutory applications, is dismissed, and the release shall be granted within 14 days of the date of submission of the sureties and undertakings as mentioned above, subject to the completion of the confiscation proceeding.
Judgement reviewed by – Pooja Lakshmi