Pritam Singh Pattar, J.
1. This is a revision petition filed by Hardam Singh son of Mula Ram, resident of village Khuian Malkana, Tehsil Dabwali, District Hissar, against the judgment dated December 23, 1972 of the Sessions Judge, Hissar, whereby he dismissed his revision petition against the order dated November 22. 1972 of the Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Dabwali, whereby he directed that the jeep in dispute could not be returned to him on Sapurdari and that it should remain with the police till the investigation was over.
2. Briefly stated, the facts of this case are that the jeep in question bearing No. RJL 4937 belonged to one Harnek Singh, who was alleged to have transferred the same to Tulsa Ram and the latter transferred the same to Hardam Singh petitioner for Rs. 5, 200/- on September 16. 1972. This jeep was alleged to have been stolen from the possession of Hardam Singh by Vidya Sagar, Ramji Lai and Kanshi Ram, and he went to Police Station, Dabwali to lodge a report, but the police did not register any case. Thereafter, Hardam Singh made an application in the Court of the Judicial Magistrate and under orders of the Magistrate, the police registered case under Sections 379 and 411. Indian Penal Code, against Vidya Sagar and others, Hardam Singh also produced the registration certificate of this jeep in his name before the police. This jeep was recovered by the police from the possession of Vidya Sagar on November 18 1972, After the registration of the case, Hardam Singh petitioner made an application in the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, Dabwali under Section 516A. Criminal Procedure Code, to return the jeep to him for proper custody pending decision of that case. Similar application was also made by Vidya Sagar. The Magistrate sent for report from the police on these applications and the police reported that Vidya Sagar was owner of the jeep and that Hardam Singh was not its owner and the jeep should not be returned to him. The Magistrate after hearing the counsel for the parties came to the conclusion that since both Hardam Singh and Vidya Sagar claimed title to the jeep, therefore, it was not expedient to give this jeep on Sapurdari to any of them till the completion of the investigation and that the jeep should remain with the police till the investigation is over. Feeling dissatisfied, both Hardam Singh and Vidya Sagar filed two separate revision petitions against this order in the Court of the Sessions Judge, Hissar who dismissed both these petitions on December 23, 1973. Thereafter. Hardam Singh petitioner filed this revision petition.
3. Section 516-A Criminal Procedure Code, reads as follows:
When any property regarding which any offence appears to have been committed, or which appears to have been used for the commission of any offence, is produced before any Criminal Court during any inquiry or trial, the Court may make such order as it thinks fit for the proper custody of such property pending the conclusion of the inquiry or trial, and, if the property is subject to speedy or natural decay, or if it is otherwise expedient so to do the Court may, after recording such evidence as it thinks necessary, order it to be sold or otherwise disposed of.
4. Section 22 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, lays down that no person shall drive any motor vehicle and no owner of motor vehicle shall cause or permit the vehicle to be driven in any public place or in any other place unless the vehicle is registered in accordance with Chapter HI of that Act and the certificate of registration of the vehicle has not been suspended or cancelled and the vehicle carries a registration mark displayed in the prescribed manner. Sees. 23 and 24 of that Act prescribed the procedure how the application for registration of a vehicle is to be made and the place where the vehicle is to be registered. Section 28 of that Act says that such a certificate of registration issued in respect of any such vehicle shall be effective throughout India. Section 31 of the Act provides for a transfer of ownership of any such vehicle. It lays down that where the ownership of any motor vehicle is transferred, the transferor shall within fourteen days of the transfer report the transfer to the registering authority and shall simultaneously send a copy of the report to the transferee and the latter shall within thirty days of the transfer report the transfer to the registering authority within whose jurisdiction he resides and shall forward the certificate of registration to the registering authority together with the prescribed fee and a copy of the report received by him from the transferor in order that particulars of the transfer of ownership may be entered in the certificate of registration. It follows from these Sections 22, 23, 24, 28 and 31 of the Motor Vehicles Act referred to above that the registration certificate is an essential necessity before any motor vehicle can be made use of and that any person in whose favour the certificate of registration is issued obviously would be the owner thereof. Till any transfer of ownership is effected in the certificate of registration, one has to take it that the person in whose favour such a certificate is issued by the Motor Transport Authorities is the owner and thus is entitled to remain in possession thereof. It is, therefore, essential that the Court should consider the effect of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act in finding out the true claimant. Possession is not by itself a true criterion for granting under Section 516-A. Criminal Procedure Code, custody of a motor vehicle during the pendency of a criminal case. The person in whose name the vehicle stands registered with the registering authority under the Motor Vehicles Act is prima facie the owner of a motor vehicle and is entitled to its custody unless any other person establishes his superior title or claim over it; Vide Deo Dutta Sharma v. Manohar Lal (1974) 72 Pun LR 16 : 1974 Cri LJ 1156 and Nandiram v. State of Guiarat : AIR1967Guj80 . I am in respectful agreement with the observations made in these cases. In the instant case, at the time of the registration of this case by the police, Hardam Singh petitioner produced the certificate of registration before the police and this certificate was produced from police custody today by Shri H. N, Mehtani, Assistant Advocate General for the State of Haryana and its perusal showed that Harnek Singh was the original owner of this jeep in dispute and he transferred the same in favour of one Tulsa Ram and an entry regarding this transfer in the name of Tulsa Ram was made in the certificate of registration on May 5, 1972. Tulsa Ram further transferred this jeep in dispute bearing No. RJL 4937 in favour of Hardam Singh petitioner and in the registration certificate Hardam Singh is recorded as its owner vide endorsement on it dated October 3, 1972. Therefore, prima facie Hardam Singh is the owner of this jeep in dispute and is entitled to its custody.
5. Vidya Sagar, against whom the case was registered at the instance of Hardam Singh also claimed ownership of this vehicle. His case is that Harnek Singh transferred this jeep in favour of Jai Chand and the latter transferred it to Gurbachan Singh, who further transferred in his (Vidya Sagar's) and Tulsa Ram's favour. No intimation regarding these transfers was made in the office of the registering authority under the Motor Vehicles Act and these transfers were never entered in the registration certificate of this vehicle.
6. For the reasons given above, it is held that the orders passed by the Magistrate and the Sessions Judge cannot be sustained. As a result, this revision petition is accepted the orders of the Sessions Judge and the Judicial Magistrate, Dabwali are set aside and it is directed that the jeep in dispute should be given on Sapurdari to Hardam Singh petitioner during the pendency of this case on his furnishing security to the satisfaction of the Judicial Magistrate, Dabwali.