S.S. Dewan, J.
1. This petition purports to have been filed Under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the Code), with the allegations that a case Under Sections 148, 364/342/307/149, Indian Penal Code, was registered against Jagan Singh and 9 others and the Challan was put in against them in the Court of Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Fazilka. It is said that a tractor was parked in the haveli of the petitioners and the same was allegedly taken away by the accused without their permission and the same was used for the commission of the aforementioned crime. The petitioner moved an application before the Magistrate for the return of the tractor but the Magistrate rejected their application because it was stained with blood. Feeling aggrieved, the petitioners went up in revision. The learned Additional Sessions Judge, Ferozepur, relying on the decision in Mohar Singh Prem Singh v. State, 1979 Cri LJ 216 (Him Pra), dismissed the revision. By means of the present petition, the orders of the two Courts below are sought to be quashed by invoking the provisions of Section 482 of the Code.
2. The short point that arises in this petition is as to whether the criminal court has power to release property seized by the police from the accused during the investigation but not yet produced before the Court. I think the Court has such power and that seems to be the scheme of the Code itself. Chapter XXXIV of the Code deals with the disposal of the property. Where property has been seized by the police but not yet produced before the Court, the power to dispose it of is covered by Section 457 of the Code. Where property has been seized and/or otherwise produced before the Court, the manner to dispose of such property is governed by Section 451 of the Code. If the question of disposal of property arises after an enquiry or trial in .any criminal Court is concluded, the disposal of the property involved in the case is governed by Section 452 of the Code.
3. Section 457 of the Code governs the facts of the present case. The police recovered the tractor during the investigation. The said tractor of the petitioners was allegedly used by the accused for the commission of the crime. Some blood was also recovered from the same tractor. Mr. V. P. Prashar, the learned Assistant Advocate-General, Punjab, has stated that the tractor is now in the possession of the police. It must be observed that there seems to be no sense in keeping the tractor idle with the police without any advantage to anyone and to the definite disadvantage of the owners. While entrusting the tractor on Supardari basis, suitable conditions can be imposed by the Magistrate to ensure that if the tractor is not produced in the Court as and when required, the same shall be liable to forfeiture. The petitioners may make an appropriate application to the Court in which the enquiry or trial of the case is pending. I have no doubt if the application is supported by cogent proof to show that the tractor belongs to the petitioners and they are suffering loss on account of their being deprived of its possession and user, the learned Magistrate will exercise his judicial discretion in a proper manner and may direct the return of the tractor to the petitioners on furnishing adequate security if he thinks such an order to be fair and just in the circumstances of the case.
4. This is, therefore, a fit case where I should interfere Under Section 482 of the Code. The impugned orders of the Courts below are hereby quashed.