Himachal Pradesh High Court: Chander Bhusan Barowalia, J. set aside trial court’s order and remanded back the present application to decide afresh, taking into consideration the issue of whether the owner of a vehicle in police custody, can be asked only to deposit an amount or security as well, as a condition precedent to release of the seized vehicle.
The learned counsels for the petitioner, Anup Rattan, and Ritika Jassal, questioned the legality of the order passed by the lower court and put forth the law laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of Jai Prakash v. National Insurance Company Ltd., (2010) 2 SCC 607 wherein it was held that an owner of an uninsured vehicle in custody, shall be directed to offer a security or deposit the amount, adequate to satisfy the award, which will be eventually passed. They also put forth that the petitioner was running the vehicle as a taxi and hence he was not in a position to deposit the amount. The learned counsels for the respondents, Shiv Pal Manhans and Raju Ram Rahi, contended that the lower court order needed no interference as the vehicle was not insured.
The High Court took into consideration the facts that the vehicle was not insured and it had met with an accident hence it was seized. The Court relied on the judgment of Jai Prakash case and took note of the fact that the lower court erred in its order by only directing the petitioner to pay the deposit. The Court thereby remanded the application to the lower court for deciding the same afresh “taking into consideration the factum with regard to security and pass an appropriate order after taking into consideration the averment, whether furnishing of the security will meet the ends of justice, as prayed for, or not.” [Manish Kumar v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2019 SCC OnLine HP 579, decided on 07-05-2019]