MOHOMED YUSUF Vs. JIVRAJ PREMJIBHAI
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
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(1.) This revision application arises out of an order for the disposal of property namely a truck after the completion of a criminal trial passed by the learned J.M.F.C. Bansda and varied by the learned Sessions Judge in appeal. The learned Magistrate convicted the accused for an offence of criminal breach of trust and cheating and ordered that the truck in respect of which the offence was committed should be returned to the complainant although it was taken from the possession of a third party. That person therefore went in appeal to the Sessions Court and the learned Extra Additional Sessions Judge ordered that the truck should be handed over to the third person from whose possession the truck was taken by the police and produced in the Court. The learned Extra Additional Sessions Judge set aside the conviction for criminal breach of trust under sec. 406 I.P.Code and confirmed the conviction of the accused for cheating under sec. 420 I.P.Code and the disposal of the property namely the truck on the ground that no notice has been given to the person from whose possession the truck was taken and also on the ground that according to the complainant that third person had purchased the truck from the accused on 15-4-1960 about six months before it was taken possession of from him by the police for production in the Court.
(2.) That order of the learned Extra Additional Sessions Judge is now challenged in this revision and it is contended that no notice is necessary. It is also contended that the learned Extra Additional Sessions Judge was wrong in going into the question of title and that there is no proper evidence to show that the truck in question belonged to the third person namely Messrs. Hirjibhai Premjibhai. Section 517(1) Cr. P. C. reads as follows:-
When an inquiry or a trial in any criminal Court is concluded the Court may make such order as it thinks fit for the disposal by destruction confiscation or delivery to any person claiming to be entitled to possession thereof or otherwise of any property or document produced before it or in its custody or regarding which any offence appears to have been committed or which has been used for the commission of any offence.
(3.) At the conclusion of an inquiry or a trial the Court may make such order as it thinks fit for the disposal amongst other things to deliver to any person claiming to be entitled to possession thereof or otherwise of any property produced before it. Admittedly the truck was before the Court and it had been produced from the custody of Hirjibhai Premjibhai having been taken from his possession on 6-10-60. This Hirjibhai is neither the complainant nor the accused. Even according to the complainant he had purchased the truck from the accused on 15-4-60. This is stated in the complaint. Ordinarily a criminal court passing an order under section 517 Cr. P. C. should not go into the question of the title of property. But if a person reasonably claims to be entitled to possession thereof and if the property has in fact been taken from his possession the property should be returned to him unless the property is stolen property within the meaning of sec. 410 I.P.Code. Section 410 I.P.Code reads as follows:-
Property the possession whereof has been transferred by theft or by extortion or by robbery and property which has been criminally misappropriated or in respect of which criminal breach of trust has been committed is designated as stolen property whether the transfer has been made or the misappropriation or breach of trust has been committed within or without India. But if such property subsequently comes into the possession of a person legally entitled to the possession thereof it then ceases to be stolen property. ;
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