Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of Abhay S. Oka, CJ and B.V. Nagarathnna, J. held that , owners of seized vehicles due to breach of COVID-19 Guidelines may approach jurisdictional Police Officers for the same.

An interlocutory application has been tendered wherein it has been stated that from 25-03-2020 till date, approximately 35,000 vehicles have been seized within the limits of Bengaluru City for violating of Section 188 of Penal Code, 1860 and clause (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 51 of Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Further with regard to the release of the above vehicles, it has been pointed out that owner will have to file applications before the Jurisdictional Magistrates.

Courts of the jurisdictional Magistrates will be flooded with such applications and will lead to crowding of Courts.

Thus in view of the above, State Government sought direction permitting jurisdiction Police Officers to exercise the power under sub-section (3) of Section 102 of CrPC to handover the custody of seize vehicles.

In view of the huge number of vehicles beings seized, a great deal of urgency  was seen and thus the State Government was requested to immediately take up present IA.

AGA while pointing out sub-section (3) of Section 102 CrPC, submitted that firstly, such large number of vehicles cannot be conveniently transported to the jurisdictional Courts and secondly, it is difficult to secure a proper accommodation for safe custody of such large number of vehicles.

He also submitted that along with the above stated Sections for penalisation, Section 179 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 may also be attracted.

Bench agreeing with the AGA’s submission stated that,

in case of such seizure of vehicles for the offences relating to breach of the directions concerning COVID-19, it will be open for the jurisdictional Police Officers to exercise the powers under sub- section (3) of Section 102 of Cr.P.C and to give custody of the vehicles in terms of sub-section (3) of Section 102 to the owners.

It will be appropriate if the power under sub-section (3) of Section 102 of CrPC is exercised by the jurisdictional Police Officers on an application made by the owners of the vehicles.

Court’s Order

  • Persons claiming to be the owners of the vehicles which have been seized for violation of various orders issued concerning COVID-19 make an application to the jurisdictional Police Officers to grant custody of the seized vehicles, after verification of the ownership of the applicants, it will be open for the jurisdictional Police Officers to give custody of the seized vehicles to the owners by exercising the powers under Section 102 (3) of CrPC.
  • Prosecution of the alleged offenders will remain unaffected.
  • Present Order will apply only to seizure of the vehicles within the limits of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.
  • In future, if vehicles are seized within the limits of BBMP by the jurisdictional Police Officers for the similar breaches, the custody of the vehicles can be given to owners on the same terms and conditions.

[Mohammed Arif Jameel v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine Kar 448  , decided on 30-04-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: This interlocutory application was filed before the Bench of Atul Sreedharan, J.

Facts of the case were that an order was passed where the petitioner was ordered to be evicted from the residential accommodation provided to the petitioner subject to petitioner’s paying rent of the premises as per rules. With respect to the above order, an interlocutory application was filed in this case in order to recall the said order.

It was submitted before Court that petitioner was residing in the official accommodation but had not complied with that part of the order by virtue of which petitioner was required to pay the rent as per rules. It was also alleged that the petitioner started depositing money only after filing of this application for recall of the order. Further submission was made that petitioner even after the passing of the order was residing in the official accommodation but was not paying the rent as per rules.

High Court was of the view that petitioner had violated the orders of this Court which does not deserve sympathy and thus the protection given to petitioner was recalled and the respondents were given the liberty to evict petitioner from the premises in accordance with law. [V.S. Sikirvar v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine MP 487, Order dated 19-03-2019]