Significant Judgments


The facts of all the three cases were that vehicles were seized for being involved in an accident and the owner of the vehicles (petitioners’) applications were dismissed because the vehicle was not insured on the date of the accident. The Sessions Judges in all the three cases had relied upon the judgment of the High Court Court in Ramakrushna Mahasuar v.. State of Odisha (2021) 81 OCR 635 and held that the vehicle was not covered under a valid policy of insurance covering the date of the accident and therefore, the vehicle could not be released in favour of the petitioner.
The petitioner pleaded that the Magistrate committed illegality in holding that the vehicle in question was not covered under the policy of insurance even though there were ample materials on record to show that the vehicle was actually under insurance coverage at the relevant time. Taking the reference of RamakrushnaMahasuar’s case, per contra, the opposite party supported the impugned orders by contending that Rule-6 of 2018 Rules puts an embargo on the release of vehicle involved in an accident-causing death or bodily injury to any person or damage to property if, on the date of the accident, the vehicle is not covered under a policy of insurance covering 3rd party risks.

The Court, in this case, said, that a reading of the Rule revealed that undoubtedly certain restrictions have been placed by the Legislature in the matter of release of a vehicle involved in an accident if the said vehicle was not covered by an Insurance Policy but, it was also evident that an exception had been carved out in the latter part of sub-Rule(1) to the effect that such vehicle could also be released if the registered owner furnishes sufficient security to the satisfaction of the Court and it would not be unreasonable to hold that if and when the Court is unable to quantify the compensation, it would be proper to ask for security at least equal to the present market value of the vehicle. Upon furnishing such security, the vehicle could be directed to be released. However, in all the three cases before this Court, no such direction was issued to the owners of the vehicles (petitioners) to furnish security and yet their applications were rejected on the ground that they had failed to furnish such security. Given the discussion on the legislative intent made hereinbefore, the Court was constrained to observe that the methodology adopted was improper. Thus, all the impugned orders were quashed and the concerned Courts were asked to follow the process illustrated in the judgment.

The facts of the case were that the Petitioner was a habitual offender and the case was initiated against him on 28th October 2020 under Section 110 (a)(b) (c) (d) & (g) of Cr.P.C. The Petitioner was arrested and taken into custody.
Subsequently, on 7th December 2020, the Petitioner was released upon execution of a good behavior bond as per Section 117 of Cr.P.C. for two years. It was alleged that while the Petitioner was in good behavior bond, he was involved in cases registered under Sections 341/326/307/323/506/34 of I.P.C. read with Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act.

The issue before the Court was, whether a mere allegation of involvement in an offense can amount to proof of the commission of the breach of the bond.

Referring to the case of Ashik Mohammed v. The Executive Magistrate and others; Crl. R.C.(MD) No.128 of 2019 dated 29th April 2019, the Court stated that merely because certain cases had been registered against the Petitioner, the same could not be said to be sufficient ground leading to prove the breach of the bond to the satisfaction of the Magistrate concerned that too without hearing the affected party. The Court noted that a close reading of Section 122(1)(b) of Cr.P.C., would show that the Executive Magistrate should allow the Petitioner and apply his judicial mind and arrive at the satisfaction that the Petitioner had breached the security bond executed by her to keep good behaviour and he must also record the grounds of such proof. As per Section 122(1)(b) Cr.P.C., the Executive Magistrate was required to record his grounds of satisfaction and whether sufficient cause had been established.

The Court concluded that the facts of the case when viewed through the prism of the aforementioned legal proposition show that the impugned order passed by the learned Executive Magistrate could not be treated as one passed in consonance with the statutory mandate. The Court observed that the learned Executive Magistrate committed gross illegality in not giving the proper opportunity of defense to the Petitioner as also in mechanically accepting the allegation of violation of bond without any valid or justified reason.

As the result, the CRLMC was allowed. The impugned order was quashed and, the learned Executive Magistrate was directed to order the release of the Petitioner from custody forthwith.

The facts of the case were that the petitioner had filed a petition under Section 97 of Cr.P.C. before the trial Court, inter alia, stating that she had married one Surender Kumar Murmu and out of such wedlock, a female child namely, Sanshita Murmu was born on 14.05.2018. Unfortunately, the husband of the petitioner died on 02.04.2020, and thereafter, the petitioner continued to stay in her matrimonial home with her child, mother-in-law (opposite party no.1), and brother-in-law (opposite party no.2). It was alleged that the petitioner was tortured by the opposite parties who wanted to drive her away from their home. The opposite parties intended to deprive the petitioner of the share of the money received by selling the property at their native place. Being aggrieved, the opposite parties carried the matter in revision to the Court of 1st Additional Sessions Judge.

The Court while referring to Section 97 of Cr.P.C. held that the opposite parties being a grandmother and paternal uncle of the child were not strangers to the said child and that though they may not be preferential guardian according to Section 2 of the Guardianship Act (presumably, Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act), the opposite parties could also be said to be guardians of the minor child as they were having the care of the person of the minor at the time. It was further held that such custody could not be treated as confinement which amounted to an offense. Thus, it was concluded that the learned Magistrate had failed to assign reasons as to on what basis he concluded confinement of the child and that the same amounts to offense.