ISHAR NATH Vs. STATE OF RAJASTHAN
HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
STATE OF RAJASTHAN
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S. S. BYAS, J. -
(1.)BY this petition under section 482, Cr. P. C. the petitioner, who was a complainant in the Court below, prays for quashing the order of the learned Munsif & Judicial Magistrate, Nokha dated 19-7-83 passed under section 451 Cr. P. C. whereby he directed the delivery of tractor to the accused non-petitioner Bheira Ram.
(2.)PETITIONER Isharnath had purchased tractor No. R J. R. 5754 from Bhanwara Ram in the month of December, 1977. The registration of the tractor was also made in his favour by the State Transport Department. He also paid the Road-tax and the Insurance amount of the tractor. On 10-7-83, while he was driving the said tractor in a field at village Sarunda, accused non-petitioner Bhera Ram accompanied with five others came to him, used violence and forcibly took away the tractor from him. He immediately lodged a report of the occurrence at Police Station Nokha. The police registered a case and proceeded with investigation. During investigation, the police seized the said tractor. The petitioner and accused Bhera Ram moved applications in the Court below for delivery of the tractor to them. The learned Magistrate after obtaining the report from the Investigating Officer, passed the impugned, order directing the delivery of the tractor to accused Bhera Ram Aggrieved against the said order, the petitioner has approached this Court.
I have heard the counsel for the parties and also the learned Public Prosecutor.
It was contended by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the approach of the Court below was wholly erroneous. The registration of the tractor stood in the name of the petitioner. As such the delivery of the tractor should have been made to him. The so-called sale-deed produced by accused Bhera Ram is not a genuine document. It is yet to be established in defence by the accused whether this sale deed was executed by petitioner Isharnath. Reliance was placed in support of the contention on observation made in AIR 1976 Rajasthan 75 and AIR 1967, Gujarat 80. In reply, it was contended that the question of title of the tractor could be looked into while passing an order for its delivery under section 451, Cr P. C. It was argued that petitioner Isharnath had sold the tractor to the accused and executed a sale deed in pursuance thereto. As such the order of the court below was perfectly justified in deliverying the tractor to the accused.
Admittedly, the registration of the tractor stood in the name of petitioner Isharnath at all the relevant times and it stands in his name even now. As such, prima facie petitioner Isharnath is entitled to get the delivery of the tractor. In Champalal Versus Ramchandra (1) it was observed that until transfer of ownership of the vehicle is entered in the certificate of registration, person in whose favour such certificate stands is presumed to be the owner.
The accused-filed a sale deed to show that petitioner Isharnath had sold the tractor to him on 1-5-80. The learned Magistrate took this document to be genuine and real. It is difficult to agree with him. Curiously enough, this sale deed does not state the sale price for which the tractor was alleged to have been sold to accused Bhera Ram by petitioner Isharnath. It is a typed document. In these circumstances it is difficult to accept this document at its face value as genuine and real. It is yet to be proved that it was executed in favour of the accused by petitioner Isharnath. In arriving at a decision regarding possession of the motor vehicle, the Magistrate should consider the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act. There is a consensus of judicial opinion that the person in whose name a vehicle is registered under the Motor Vehicles Act is prima facie entitled to its possession.
(3.)FOR the reasons mentioned above, the tractor should have been delivered to petitioner Isharnath in whose name its registration stood. The impugned order of the learned Magistrate cannot be, therefore, maintained.
In the result, the petition is allowed. The impugned order of the learned Munsif & Judicial Magistrate, Nokha, dated 19-3-83 is set-aside. It is hereby directed that the possession of tractor No. RJR 5754 will be delivered to petitioner Isharnath. The learned Magistrate will take steps to carry out this order. .
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