Last Updated: Sunday March 16, 2008

Law on Interim Custody of vehicles seized by police under section 516(a) of Code of Criminal Procedure

1.            Bona-fide Purchaser of Motor Car taken in custody by police under S. 550 granted Spurdari on verbal prayer for Spurdari made at time of bearing application under section 497/498.[1]


2.            Application and scope- property claimed by an actual owner in respect whereof some offence had been committed could be restored even on personal bond what to say of the surety or security.[2]


3.            Registration Book of the car in question was in the name of the petitioner car though allegedly was used for transportation of liquor but the same itself was not such a property  as had been described in proviso of  section 516-A Cr.PC Car was subject to decay and deterioration.[3]


4.            Vehicle Superdari of – Petitioner claiming ownership of the same Held that: As the vehicle was not a stolen property and as it apparently belonged to the petitioner it is directed that the same be handed to him on his furnishing two securities with the undertaking that he would produce before the court when so required.[4]


5.            If the police is definite about the title of the truck, we have no hesitation in concluding that it is neither a stolen property not a property used in the commission of offence and hence the application of sections 523/550 Cr.PC is utterly illegal. The recovery being illegal and without jurisdiction, the question arises as to whom the delivery should be given pending the dispute.


6.            Riasat Khan claims to be the purchaser of the truck from the aforesaid absconder Muhammad Saleem many months prior to even the commission of the murder attributed to Muhammad Saleem. He has open transfer letter in his possession. Against this evidence there is nothing in rebuttal with the State except the argument that the registration of MR-1696 pertains to a Bus and not Truck with the Motor Registration Authority at Mardan.


7.            Last is the stance of the police that the truck in fact belongs to Muhammad Saleem an absconder. Although the SHO was not very clear on the reason that the truck is taken into possession because it belonged to an absconder yet from the conduct of the police it appears to have been taken into custody under such impression. Even if it is kept in custody under such impression and even if the truck still belongs to Muhammad Saleem, the police cannot acquire the possession thereof without obtaining a warrant under section 88 Cr.PC. It is admitted at the bar the; learned AAG as well as the SHO that no such warrant has so far been obtained. The recovery is unlawful on that score as well.

8.            As the vehicle No. MR-1696 is not a stolen property and as it apparently belongs to the petitioner Riasat Khan, is directed to be handed over to him on his furnishing a bond in a sum of Rs. 300,000/- with two sureties to the satisfaction of Deputy Registrar of this Court.


9.            Without prejudice it can be expressed that the dispute revolves around the ownership of Car No. LHD 6418. The same could not be taken into possession under section 550 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The police has coined a device to settle the dispute of civil nature of the instant category by projecting its authority. The contesting parties can get determined their ownership from the competent court. The police has no jurisdiction to decide the dispute about the ownership of the Car.[5]


10.        Consequently, I accept this application and pass the order that the Car along-with the Registration Book shall be returned to Abdul Ghafoor. Altaf Hussain, Sub-Inspector/Station Housing Officer (SHO), Police Station, Mankera, District Bhakkar has handed over the key of the Car and the Registration Book to Abdul Ghafoor petitioner who is satisfied. He has gone out, checked the Car and has back.


11.        Name in registration Book owner has better title hence entitled to the possession.[6]


12.        Principle of possessor.[7]


13.        Provision Section 516-A Cr.PC empowered the court to deliver on superdari to any person during pendency of trial, any property regarding which any offence appeared to have been committed. Property was not necessarily to be given on superdari to person from, whose possession it was recovered.[8]


14.        Property was not necessarily to be given on superdari to a person from whose possession it was recovered.

15.        Delivery to a person entitled to its possession.


16.        Name in Registration Book.[9]


17.        Property claimed by original owner regarding which an offence has been committed.[10]


18.        Condition was to be further deteriorated if the same was not granted as superdari.[11]


19.        Revision in Superdari.[12]


20.        Real owner should not be deprived of custody.[13]


21.        Subject of decay.[14]


22.        Two claimants’ Name in Registration Book.[15]


23.        The owner has given the vehicle on rent if any offence got committed on it.[16]

[1] 2005 P Cr.L J 533 ALD 2004 2011.

[2] 2004 YLR 943(a) ALD 2016 2004.

[3] 2004 YLR 3198 ALD 2019.

[4] 1997 PLR 537 Abbotabad.

[5] 2001 MLD 670 Lahore.

[6] 2000 YLR 1241.

[7] 2006 P.Cr.LJ 311.

[8] 2004 MLD 1259(a).

[9] MLD 1596.

[10] 2004 YLR 943 (a).

[11] 2004 YLR L 358.

[12] YLR 324 2003.

[13] 1991 MLD 2590.

[14] 2003 YLR 791.

[15] 2003 YLR 2744.

[16] PLD 2003 Pesh 87 (9).

Go to Index | LL. B. – I | LL. B. – II | LL. B. – III | Home