H.C. P. Tripathi, J.
1. On a report from opposite party Tausik Hasan, a case was registered against the petitioner Under Section 406 of the Indian Penal Code in respect of a Truck No. UPH 7139. During investigation, the police seized the truck from the possession of the petitioner on 10-8-1970.
2. On 128-1970, the petitioner applied to the Judicial Officer, Mohammadabad for the release of the truck during the pendency of the investigation on furnishing the required security. Opposite party Tausik Hasan also claimed the release of the truck in his favour The Munsif-Magistrate, Azamgarh passed an order dated 9-94970 releasing the truck in favour of the opposite party on his furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 20,000/- and two sureties of the like amount within a period of 15 days. Petitioner then came up in revision before the learned Sessions Judge but it was dismissed and the order of the Munsif-Magistrate was upheld.
3. The learned Counsel for the petitioner has argued that as the truck had been seized from his possession, he was the person entitled to the possession thereof within the meaning of Section 523 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. On the other hand, it has been contended on behalf of the opposite party that as the registration of the truck stood in his favour, he was entitled to its possession and not the petitioner. A reliance was placed in this connection on a Division Bench decision of Patna High Court reported in 1964 (2) Cri. L. J. 492 (Pat) and also on the single Judge decision of Gujarat High Court reported in : AIR1967Guj80 . The aforesaid cases no doubt support the contention of the learned Counsel for the opposite party that where the question of proper custody of a motor vehicle is involved, the person in whose name the vehicle stands with registering authority is entitled to custody of it unless any other person establishes his superior title.
4. The aforesaid cases are, however, distinguishable on facts inasmuch as the custody of the motor Vehicle was given to the person in whose favour the Vehicle had been registered while the Criminal case had remained pending against the person from whose possession it has been seized.
5. In the instant case, the Police had submitted a final report dropping the investigation. That report has been accepted by the Munsif Magistrate with the result that there is no criminal proceedings pending against the petitioner. It was the pendency of investigation of a criminal case against the petitioner that had given jurisdiction to the Police Under Section 550 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to seize a truck from his possession. Once the investigation has been dropped, the status quo ante is restored i.e. the truck should be given to the person from whom it has been seized.
6. It has been the consistent view of this Court that where the property is recovered from the possession of a person, a Court for the, purpose of an order Under Section 523, Criminal P.C. must hold that he is entitled to its possession. It is only in certain circumstances that the property recovered from the possession of a person may be handed over to some other person, such as when the person from whose possession the property is recovered denies that it was recovered from his possession or where the property is recovered from the possession of a person but this possession has been acquired either in a dis honest or unlawful manner, or where the person from whose possession the property is seized alleges that he is only in temporary custody of the property and it belongs to some one-else. : AIR1956All199 (Division Bench) and 1956 ALJ 727. None of the conditions in which according to the Division Bench decision, the seized property can be given to a person other than one from whose possession it has been seized are present in the instant case.
7. Whether the petitioner or the opposite party is the owner of the vehicle is a question which is not to be determined in these proceedings. It is true that the truck is not registered in the name of the petitioner and therefore, he may not put it on the road. That question too is not for the consideration of the Magistrate in a proceeding Under Section 523, Cr.PC
8. In the result, this revision is allowed, the impugned order of the Munsif-Magistrate is quashed and he is directed to release the truck in favour of the petitioner.