IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI. Cr. Revision No. 421 of 2016 Ramesh Ravidas,S/o Kritan Ravidas,Dhanbad Petitioner versus The State of Jharkhand . . . Respondent. ----- CORAM : THE HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE RAVI NATH VERMA ----- For the Petitioners : Mr. Lukesh Kumar For the Respondents: Mr. Shiv Kumar Sharma, APP ----- Reserved on 16.05.2016. Delivered on 08/09/2016. ----- R.N.Verma,J.
Invoking revisional jurisdiction of this court under sections 397 and 401 of the Criminal Procedure Code ( in short the Code), petitioner has questioned the legality of the order dated 10.02.2016 passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate, Ist Class, Dhanbad in Nirsa P.S. Case no. 302/2015, whereby and whereunder the petition filed by the petitioner for release of the coal seized from the premises of M/s Das Enterprises, Salgoria, Nirsa has been rejected.
2. Prosecution case, which is based on the self statement of informant, A.S.I of Nirsal Police Station, in short, is that on 13.09.2015, he got a secret information that illegal coal has been hoarded in the premises of M/s Das Enterprises Limited through cyclists and the same is to be used for manufacturing PORA coal. Thereafter, he along with police party conducted raid in the premises of the said factory but after seeing the police party, some of the persons, who were taking coal in bags, any how fled away from there. The police party seized about 80 M.Tones of coal and persons who were present in the said factory failed to show any document relating to the seized coal. On the basis of the said information, aforesaid case was instituted under section 414/34 of the Indian Penal Code and also under section 30(II) of the Bihar Coal Mines Act against the accused persons including the petitioner.
3. After investigation, police submitted the charge-sheet, where after, a petition dated 16.09.2015 for release of the coal was filed on behalf of the petitioner Ramesh Ravi Das being proprietor of the said Factory but the court below after hearing both the parties refused to release the seized coal in favour of the petitioner. Hence, this revision. -2- 4. It appears from the record that the factory of the petitioner is duly registered with the Department of Labour and Employment and Dhanbad District Industry Centre and the license has also been issued. The petitioner has also got TIN ( VAT Registration) wherein the nature of business has been shown as Whole Sale Trade and Retail Trade of Soft Coke, Coal Briquette, Coal & Dust and the said factory has also got Certificate of Registration from Central Sales Tax Department.
5. Mr. Lukesh Kumar, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner assailing the order impugned as bad in law, seriously contended that the petitioner is a bona fide purchaser of the coal purchased in the name of M/s Das Enterprises and the entire allegation is concocted one at the instance of the police and in support of his contention, learned counsel has filed the license issued in the name of the factory of the petitioner, Commercial Tax Registration Certificate, Central Sales Tax Registration Certificate and the purchase receipts showing purchase of coal from different companies for preparation of Soft Coke and Coal Briquette. It was also submitted that a report was also called for by the court concerned from the Investigating Officer, which is annexed with the revision application and on perusal of the report, it would appear that the Investigating Officer found the seized coal is genuinely purchased from different sellers and total 196.130 M. Tones. Coal were found in the stock register. But merely because the document relating to pollution was not produced before the Investigation Officer, he has come to the conclusion that the petitioner purchased the coal from cyclists who are involved in illegal excavation. Learned counsel further submitted that the court below erred in rejecting the prayer only on the ground that the seized coal is the subject matter of this case and the same has not been marked as exhibit.
6. A report was also called for by this court from the Officer-in- Charge, Nirsa Police Station but the same was not received in this court.
7. In the case Sunderbhai Ambalal Desai.Vs. State of Gujarat : AIR (2003)1 SC-638, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held as follows : -3- " The power under section 451, Cr.P.C. should be exercised expeditiously and judiciously for the reason that the owner of the article would not suffer because of its remaining unused or by its misappropriation. The court or the police would not be required to keep the article in safe custody and that if the proper panchanama before handing over possession of article is prepared, that can be used in evidence instead of its production before the Court during the trial.”
8. I have gone through the report of the Investigating Officer submitted in the court below, which is part of this revision petition and also examined the impugned order and found that the Investigating Officer has found all the papers produced before him showing purchase of coal as genuine and the stock register a huge quantity of coal were shown to be in stock register and they were all genuinely purchased. Merely, because the theft of coal is very common in the area and check and control is required, the Investigating Officer has submitted report showing illegal excavation in the area and the court below refused to release the coal.
9. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case and the arguments advanced on behalf of the parties, I find that the coal in question were seized from the factory premises of the petitioner and the documents produced before the Investigating Officer showing purchase of coal and stock register were found genuine. Hence, I find that the prayer of the petitioner for release of the seized coal reasonably requires consideration.
10. In view of the discussions made above, this revision is, hereby, allowed and the order impugned dated 10.02.2016 passed by Judicial Magistrate, Ist Class, Dhanbad in Nirsa P.S.case no. 302/2015 is set aside. The court below is directed to release the seized coal i.e. 80 M.T in favour of the petitioner on execution of Indemnity Bond of Rs. 1,00,000/-(One Lac) with two sureties of the like amount each to the satisfaction of court below after preparing panch-nama of the seized coal, which can be used in evidence instead of production of the seized coal before the court during trial. Sd/- ( R. N. Verma , J.) Raman /