JITENDRA KUMAR DIGAL Vs. STATE OF ODISHA
LAWS(ORI)-2020-10-4
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
Decided on October 22,2020

Jitendra Kumar Digal Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF ODISHA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

D.Dash, J. - (1.) The petitioner, by filing this revision, has called in question the legality and propriety of an order dated 18.03.2020 passed by the learned Special Judge, Phulbani in Crl. Misc. Case No. 01 of 2020 in rejecting his application under section 457 of the Cr.P.C. with the prayer to release the seized vehicle i.e. TATA Indigo eCS-LS bearing registration No. OR-02BZ-2386 in his favour.
(2.) Brief facts necessary for disposal of the matter at hand are noted as under:- The petitioner being an accused in Phiringia P.S. Case No. 37 of 2019, registered for commission of offence under section 20(b)(ii)(C),25 & 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (for short, "the NDPS Act") is now facing trial in C.T. Case No. 19 of 2019 in the court of learned Special Judge, Phulbani. The allegations against the petitioner are that on 25.04.2019 at 7.15 pm when the above stated vehicle was detained on the road at a short distance from Nuapadar Chhak, the petitioner was found inside the vehicle. On search of the vehicle, a bag containing 30 kgs. 100 grams of contraband ganja coming under the commercial quantity as specified by the Central Government by the notification in the Official Gazette which was being so transported was recovered. It is said that the petitioner after interception somehow managed to escape from the place and despite efforts could not then be apprehended.
(3.) The petitioner claims to be the registered owner of the vehicle. It is stated the vehicle being seized in connection with the alleged transportation of ganja by the petitioner has been lying unused being exposed to sun and rain without any care, for about one and half year, by now. It is further stated that the vehicle if remains like this, its value would be reduced next to nil and in that event, besides causation of irreparable loss to the petitioner, it would be of no benefit even to the State in case of its confiscation after trial, rendering the whole exercise to be one in futility. It is also stated that when the vehicle is no more required for the purpose of investigation; its detention till conclusion of the trial would not serve the ends of justice as only at the end of trial, it would be decided as to whether the vehicle would be confiscated to the State or not. So, till that order is passed, the Court has the power to pass an order for interim release of the seized vehicle. Under the situation, the court below having declined to release the vehicle in favour of the petitioner imposing conditions as to ensure its maintenance and custody by the petitioner in proper state as also its production as and when required, pending trial has committed gross illegality and that has led to failure of justice.;


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