Decided on June 03,1997

STATE OF H.P. Appellant


ARUN KUMAR GOEL,J. - (1.)This petition is directed against die judgment passed by Sessions Judge, Solan in Criminal Appeal 7 -S/l0.of 1995, dated 1st August, 1996. By means of said judgment, die learned Sessions Judge below has allowed the appeal filed by the respondent against the order dated 6th March,1995 passed by the authorised officer -cum -Divisional Forest Officer, Solan Forest Division, Solan, H.P. under section 52 -A of the Indian Forest (H.P. Second Amendment) Act.1991.
(2.)Brief facts giving rise to this case are that truck No.HP -07 -1789 along with 51 Deodar slippers was apprehended by the Police at Police Check Post, Parwanoo on 10th September, 1994 and F.I.R. 83 of 1994, dated 10th September, 1994 came to be registered at Police Station, Parwanoo. This fact was notified. by the Range Officer, Parwanoo to Divisional Forest Officer, Solan -Authorised Officer, who inspected the truck as well as forest produce on that very day. The timber as well as the truck both were seized by the forest officials. Since neither the driver nor the owner of the truck or forest produce was named, therefore, notices under section 52 -A of the Indian Forest (H.P. Second Amendment) Act, 1991, (hereinafter referred to as the Act) were published b Hindi Jansatta on 25th December, 1994. As per this notice, the owner, driver or any other person connected with the case were required to file their reply within 30 days against the proposed confiscation of the truck in question.
(3.)In response to the said notice on 4th January, 1995 one Sanjeev Kumar -respondent, owner of the truck filed reply before the authorised officer. He disputed his liability as, according to him, the truck was out of order and had been parked by him outside his house. The truck in question, according to Sanjeev Kumar, had been stolen. In these circumstances he prayed for withdrawal of the show cause notice as well as release of the truck in question to him. Authorised officer after hearing the parties ordered the confiscation of truck No.HP -07; -1789 along with 51 Deodar slippers in exercise of powers under section 52 -A(2) of the Act, after retaining one slipper as case property. This order passed by the authorised officer was questioned by Sanjeev Kumar before the appellate court below, who after hearing the parties, has allowed the appeal and ordered release of the truck in question in favour of respondent on his furnishing personal sapurdari bond in the sum of Rs. 5,00,000/ - to the satisfaction of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Solan undertaking to produce the truck during the course of trial when and where required to by the trial Magistrate.

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