Decided on July 13,1983



D.H.SHUKLA - (1.) The petitioner the State of Gujarat has filed the present petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India to set aside the impugned judgment and order dated 7/06/1983 of the learned Additional Sessions Judge Nadiad in Criminal Revision Application No. 94 of 1983 whereby he dismissed the Revision Application against the order of the learned Judicial Magistrate First Class Balasinor in Criminal Misc. Application No. 52 of 1983 whereby he directed the release of a truck which was seized by the Forest Officer on the owner of the truck furnishing a surety of Rs. 2,000 But while rejecting the Revision Application the Appellate Judge increased the amount of surety from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 1,00,000 one lakh). The appellate Judge while passing the final order observed that The truck is put to the constructive productive use by this order instead of it being kept idle by the order of forest officer resulting into deterioration of it and the nonproductive keeping of it and therefore also on that count the interim order passed by the learned J. M. F. C. requires to be confirmed.
(2.) The respondent Nazirbhai Kasambhai Vora of Kathlal Taluka Kapadwanj District Kheda filed an application against the State of Gujarat under sec. 54 of the Indian Forest Act inter alia stating there in that he is doing the business of transport that he is the owner of the truck bearing No. GTK 2599 that it stands registered in his name in the office of R.T.O. that the Forest Officer of Virpur range has seized the truck under sec. 52 of the Indian Forest Act on 7-5-1983 that the truck since then is in possession of the Forest Officer that at the time of the seizure of the truck the respondent was not with the truck that the truck is not used for transporting any contraband articles that if the truck is kept unused for a long time it was bound to result into deterioration that the family of the respondent was maintained from the rental income earned by him by giving the truck on rent and by using it on carting purpose that the respondent be handed over the possession of the truck till the final disposal of the matter that the respondent undertook to produce the said truck if and when directed by the Court.
(3.) The aforesaid application of the respondent was opposed by the Forest Officer by a written statement (Exh. 4) contending therein inter alia that the application was not maintainable; that the respondent was put to the proof of his being the owner of the truck; that the truck stood seized in relation to an offence committed under the provisions of the Indian Forest Act; that the truck was used for carting the contraband goods without pass or permit and looking to the nature and gravity of the offence under sec. 55 of the Indian Forest Act it was liable to be confiscated. It was also contended that it was only the Forest Officer who as per Sec. 53 of the Indian Forest Act was competent to release the truck at an interim stage and the Court had no powers to pass any order; that the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code do not apply.;

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