ST BUS Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation through Depot Manager Morbi Versus State of Gujarat
Para 12.Without determining the issue raised by the petitioner, reference to Section 98 and 99 and other provisions of the Gujarat Prohibition Act and reserving that to be determined in future in an appropriate proceedings since the seizure of S.T. Bus and determination of issue raised of the powers of the trial Court being a contentious issue, this Court chooses not to enter into that arena in the present matter and instead exercise the powers under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution.
Para 17.The Apex Court has, thus, directed that within a period of six months from the date of production of the vehicle before the Court concerned, needful be done. It even went to the extent of directing that where the vehicle is not claimed by the accused, owner, or the insurance company or by third person, then such vehicle may be ordered to be auctioned by the Court. If the said vehicle is insured with the insurance company then insurance company be informed by the Court to take possession of the vehicle which is not claimed by owner or third person.
If insurance company fails to take possession, the vehicles may be sold as per the direction of the Court. The Court would pass such order within a period of six months from the date of production of the said vehicle before the Court. It also directed that before handing over possession of such vehicles, appropriate photographs of the said vehicle should be taken and a detailed punchnama should also be prepared.
The Apex Court also held and specifically directed that concerned Magistrate would take immediate action for seeing that powers under Section 451 of the Code are properly and promptly exercised and articles are not kept for a long time at the Police Station, in any case, for not more than fifteen days to one month. It, therefore, directed that this object can also be achieved if there is proper supervision by the Registry of the concerned High Court in seeing that the Rules framed by the High Court with regard to such articles are implemented properly.
Liquor and Narcotics Drugs.
Prompt action should be taken in disposing of the liquor bottles/pouches and narcotic drugs after preparing a detailed punchanama containing an inventory: retaining a sample thereof; taking photographs of the entire lot of seized bottles/pouches/narcotic drugs and security bond. The sample shall be kept properly after sending it to chemical analyst, if required.
The sample along with the photographs of the case property and the panchanama would be sufficient evidence at the stage of trail.