Seized Vehicles To Be Released Against Rs 50K Fine

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has ordered that vehicles seized for carrying illegal construction material along Dal Lake or its adjoining areas shall be released against Rs 50000 fine in the first instance and Rs one lakh for repeating the offence. If the offence is repeated third time, the vehicle shall not be released until completion of trial.

“It is pertinent to mention here that the vehicles are being detained and seized only on the ground of disobedience of an order of the public servant i.e., of the court in the present case under Section 188 of RPC which is pari-materia with Section 188 of IPC. However, Section 188 do not specifically provides for the seizure and therefore the seizure is only on account of the directions given by this Court in the PIL.

PIL,” said a bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul.

“A Division Bench of Jammu Wing of this court has directed that all applications for the release of vehicles (carrying illegal construction material) shall be moved before the competent Magistrate who shall deal with those applications independently on merits on the analogy of the provisions of Section 457 of the Code of Criminal Procedure but shall not release any vehicle without realizing the composite amount of Rs. 50,000/- in the case of first time violation and Rs. 1.00 lacs in the case of second time violation and to confiscate if the offence is repeated for third time and not to release it until the completion of the investigation pursuant to the FIR or the trial thereof.”

Accordingly, the court said that since the matter of release of vehicle is a Magisterial act and is dependent upon the outcome of the FIR lodged against the driver/owner of the vehicle.

“we provide that henceforth all applications for the release of vehicles seized for carrying building material for violation of the directions of this court, would be filed before the concerned Magistrate who is dealing or is supposed to deal with the investigation pursuant to the relevant FIR, but he shall not release it without asking for security of Rs. 50,000/- in the case of first offence, Rs. 1.00 lacs in the case of second offence and that in the event the offence is repeated for the third time, the vehicle shall not be released until and unless the final report is submitted and accepted of the accused is acquitted in the trial.”

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