PREM SINGH Vs. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND AND ANOTHER
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
State of Uttarakhand and another
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(1.) Present criminal revision was filed against the judgment and order dated 23.02.2007, passed by learned Sessions Judge, Tehri Garhwal, in criminal revision no. 44 of 2005, captioned as Prabhagiya Vanadhikari, through Sri H.K. Singh, Prabhagiya Vanadhikari, Tehri, Van Prabhag, Tehri Garhwal vs State of Uttarakhand and another, whereby the revision of opposite party no. 2 was allowed and the order dated 24.08.2005, passed by learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Tehri, in Misc. Case No. 44 of 2002 was dismissed.
(2.) The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Tehri Garhwal directed the Divisional Forest Officer, vide order dated 24.08.2005, to return 71 logs of pine wood to Prem Singh, from whose custody the same were recovered. It was also indicated in the order dated 24.08.2005 that if the timber has perished, therefore, the Forest Department should replace those timbers by providing the logs of identical nature and of the same measurement, or else, to pay the market rate of perished timber. The Chief Judicial Magistrate directed the Forest Department to return 13 logs and pay the market value of the remaining logs, if they are perished and no longer exist. When this order was challenged before the Sessions Judge by way of filing criminal revision, the same was allowed, holding that it was not within the ambit of learned Magistrate to have passed an order for payment of market value of the property, which was no longer in existence. Learned revision court held that the appropriate forum for the same was the Civil Court. Prem Singh (respondent no. 2) was entitled to get the case property, which was seized from him, but he should file a suit for damages in the Civil Court. It was not within the jurisdiction of learned Magistrate to pass the order for return of another wood of same nature and size or to pay its cost, according to learned Sessions Judge.
(3.) It was held by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Smt. Basavva Kom Dyamangouda Patil vs State of Mysore and another, 1977 SCC(Cri) 598, that the production before the Court does not mean physical custody or possession by the Court but includes even control exercised by the Court by passing an order regarding the custody of the articles. The object and scheme of the various provisions of the Cr.P.C. is that the subject-matter of an offence seized by the police ought not to be retained in the custody of the Court or of the police for any time longer than what is absolutely necessary. A seizure of the property by the police amounts to a clear entrustment of the property to a Government servant and should be restored to the original owner after the necessity to retain it ceases.
The property which is in the control of the Court either directly or indirectly should be disposed of by the Court and a just and proper order should be passed by the Court regarding its disposal. In a criminal case the police always acts under the control of the Court and has to take orders from it, at every stage of an enquiry or trial.;
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