Decided on January 15,1955

SUNDI Appellant
STATE Respondents


- (1.) The facts giving rise to this application are these : One Smt. Dasiya was the mistress of one Kashi Prasad, who predeceased her. On the death of Smt. Dasiya her movable property was seized by the police under S. 25, Police Act as unclaimed property on the ground that she had died heirless and a report was made to the Additional District Magistrate. Smt. Sundi, the present applicant claimed the property before the latter, but her claim was rejected. She has filed the present application against that order.
(2.) Section 25, Police Act makes it the duty of every police officer to take charge of unclaimed property and to furnish an inventory thereof to the Magistrate of the District. Section 26 of the same Act requires the District Magistrate to issue a proclamation specifying the articles which have been seized as unclaimed property and requiring any person who has any claim thereto to appear and establish his right to the same within 6 months from the date of such proclamation. If any claimant appears and the Magistrate is satisfied as to his claim the property is handed over to him. If, however, the Magistrate is not satisfied as to his claim the property is handed over to him. If, however, the Magistrate is not satisfied that any person has a lawful claim to the property he orders the sale of the property and the proceeds are placed at the disposal of the State Government under S. 27, Police Act. The proceedings under the Police Act are of a summary nature. Any person considering himself aggrieved by the order of the Magistrate may establish his right to the property in the Civil Court.
(3.) Where a Magistrate decides a claim under S. 26, Police Act he is undoubtedly expected to act judicially. "A true Judicial decision presupposes an existing dispute between two or more parties and involves four requisites : (1) The presentation (not necessarily orally) of their case by the parties to the dispute; (2) if the dispute between them is a question of fact, the ascertainment of the fact by means of evidence adduced by the parties to the dispute and often with the assistance of argument by or on behalf of the parties on the evidence, (3) if the dispute between them is question of law, the submission of legal argument by the parties; and (4) a decision which disposes of the whole matter by a finding upon the facts in dispute and an application of the law to the facts so found, including, where required, a ruling upon any disputed question of law". (Report of the Ministers' Powers Committee C. M. D. 4060). A revision application under S. 439, Cr. P. C. lies agafnst the order.;

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