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Girdhari Lal Dial Singh Vs. the State and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. No. 1204 of 1964
Judge
Reported inAIR1967P& H19; 1967CriLJ119
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 514; Indian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 406
AppellantGirdhari Lal Dial Singh
RespondentThe State and anr.
Appellant Advocate Y.P. Gandhi, Adv.
Respondent Advocate R.B. Harparshad, Adv.-General
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredKaransingh v. Giriraj Singh
Excerpt:
.....but he failed to do so. in air 1953 madh bha 94, the court was dealing with the forfeiture of a bond executed under the provisions of opium act and not under any of the provisions of the code of criminal procedure whereby the surety undertook to produce the accused before the police as well as before the court. it will be noticed that in all the three cases cited on behalf of the petitioner the bond had been taken by the authorities other than the court though it contained a promise to produce the accused or certain articles whenever required to do so before the court as well. the bond clearly states that the petitioner will produce the car before the police as well before the court whenever required to do so. in the circumstances i am of the opinion that action under section 514,..........district and sessions judge, amritsar, to whom a revision was earlier preferred) whereby a bond executed by the petitioner in the sum of rs. 15,000/- for production of a car, which was stated to be the subject-matter of theft, had been forfeited under section 514, criminal procedure code.2. for proper appreciation of the question involved in the decision of this petition it is necessary to refer to the circumstances in which the bond in question was executed by the petitioner on 20th october, 1962. girdhari lal lodged a report with the police alleging that his fiat car no. w g u 1528 had been stolen. thereupon the police registered a case under section 406 of the indian penal code and in the course of investigation the car was recovered from the possession of sohan singh.....
Judgment:

Gurdev Singh, J.

1. This is a petition for revision against the order of the Additional District Magistrate, Amritsar, dated 13th January, 1964 (which has been affirmed by the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Amritsar, to whom a revision was earlier preferred) whereby a bond executed by the petitioner in the sum of Rs. 15,000/- for production of a car, which was stated to be the subject-matter of theft, had been forfeited under Section 514, Criminal Procedure Code.

2. For proper appreciation of the question involved in the decision of this petition it is necessary to refer to the circumstances in which the bond in question was executed by the petitioner on 20th October, 1962. Girdhari Lal lodged a report with the police alleging that his Fiat Car No. W G U 1528 had been stolen. Thereupon the police registered a case under Section 406 of the Indian Penal Code and in the course of investigation the car was recovered from the possession of Sohan Singh respondent No. 2 on 27th October, 1962. On 30th October, 1962, the petitioner made an application to the Ilaqa Magistrate, Amritsar, that the car be entrusted to him on superdari on the assurance that he would produce the same before the Court or before the police whenever required to do so. The Magistrate thereupon ordered that the car be made over to Girdhari Lal petitioner on executing a bond for Rupees 15,000/-. In obedience to this order the same day the petitioner executed the 'bond in question and undertook to produce the car whenever required to do so failing which he promised to pay Rs. 15,000/- to the State. The car was accordingly given to the petitioner. Sohan Singh from whom the car had been originally taken into possession took up the plea that the car had been sold to him on 3rd October, 1962, several days earlier to the alleged theft. The police after due investigation found that no offence under Section 406, Indian Penal Code, was made out and accordingly on its report the Additional District Magistrate on 6th December, 1962, cancelled the first information report lodged by the petitioner and directed that a complaint under Section 182, Indian Penal Code, be put in Court against him and the car be restored to Sohan Singh from whom it had been recovered. The Additional District Magistrate gave several opportunities to the petitioner to produce the car but he failed to do so. Ultimately on 13th January, 1964, the Additional District Magistrate made the impugned order forfeiting the bond under Section 514, Criminal Procedure Code. The petitioner went up in appeal to the District Magistrate and being unsuccessful there approached the Court of Session for setting aside the order of forfeiture but without success. It may be mentioned here that while his appeal and petition for revision were pending before these two Courts he was again afforded ample opportunity to produce the car and though at one stage he represented to the Court that the car was in his possession and he could produce it within a month, when he was called upon to put in an affidavit that he had not disposed of the car he refused to put in such an affidavit.

3. Mr. Y.P. Gandhi, learned counsel for the petitioner, admits that the car is not in the petitioner's possession as it had recently been seized by the Bombay police from some one else. In assailing the order of forfeiture Shri Gandhi has merely argued that the bond in question was not executed in favour of the Court but was given to the police and as such the Court had no power to forfeit the bond under the provisions of Section 514, Criminal Procedure Code. In this connection he has placed reliance on Rameshwar Bhartia v. State of Assam, AIR 1952 SC 405, Dhannu Lal v. State, AIR 1953 Madh B 94 and Re Prabhu Dayal, AIR 1960 Madh Pra 85. It is no doubt correct that in Rameshwar Bhartia's case, AIR 1952 SC 405 their Lordships of the Supreme Court had held that where the security bond is taken from the accused not by the Court but by a particular official such as a Procurement Inspector for production of the property before the Court, no action can be taken under Section 514, Criminal Procedure Code. The decision in AIR 1960 Madh Pra 85, is also to the same effect and is based upon this dictum of their Lordships of the Supreme Court. In that case cattle were given on superdari and a bond for their production was executed at the instance of the police. In AIR 1953 Madh Bha 94, the Court was dealing with the forfeiture of a bond executed under the provisions of Opium Act and not under any of the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure whereby the surety undertook to produce the accused before the police as well as before the Court. Dixit, J. held that since the bond had not been executed in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 514 could not be used for its forfeiture. It will be noticed that in all the three cases cited on behalf of the petitioner the bond had been taken by the authorities other than the Court though it contained a promise to produce the accused or certain articles whenever required to do so before the Court as well.

4. The case before us, however, is distinguishable on facts. As has been stated earlier the bond was given by the petitioner in pursuance of the express order of the Magistrate to whom he had himself applied for the return of the car on superdari and it was on the directions of the Court that on executing such a bond the car was made over to the petitioner. Thus in my opinion it cannot be said that the bond was not given to the Court but to the police officer who made over the possession of the car to the petitioner. The police may have acted merely as an agency of the Court in pursuance of the order. The bond clearly states that the petitioner will produce the car before the police as well before the Court whenever required to do so. In the circumstances none of the three authorities cited by Mr. Gandhi would apply. On the other hand the decision in Karansingh v. Giriraj Singh, AIR 1961 Madh Pra 98, would cover the case in hand. It was held by a Division Bench that a bond taken from a superdar of articles by any authority without the intervention or direction of the Court cannot be forfeited by the Court, even if it is for production of the articles before it, but where a criminal case is already pending and the Court trying that case has expressly directed the police to place that article in charge of a superdar and it is in obedience of that order that the police have taken the bond from the superdar and sent it to the Court, it is a bond taken by the Court, though the actual physical machinery is an officer of the Police. In such cases action under Section 514, Criminal Procedure Code, was held to be valid. The earlier decision of that Court in AIR 1960 Madh Pra 85 and of the Supreme Court in Rameshwar Bhartia's case, AIR 1952 SC 405, considered and distinguished.

5. It is true that in Karansingh's case, AIR 1961 Madh Pra 98, the case was also pending before the Court which gave the direction, yet that does not make any difference to the applicability of the law laid down therein to the case in hand. The important thing to notice is that in the instant case the bond was executed by the superdar in obedience to the orders of the Court and not under any direction of the police or any other authority. In the circumstances I am of the opinion that action under Section 514, Criminal Procedure Code, could validly be taken against the petitioner and because of his conduct, to which reference has been made earlier, and on his failure to produce the car despite ample opportunity, the Magistrate was justified in forfeiting the amount of the bond. The bond related to the production of a Fiat Car. It is well known that cars of this make are easily saleable and they fetch more than their market-value. I would not be surprised if the petitioner had parted with the possession of the car in order to make profit out of it. In the circumstances I find no justification for interfering with the order of the Additional District Magistrate and dismiss the petition.


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