Puri: In what will be music to vehicle owners, the Orissa High Court recently observed that seized vehicles should not be kept in police stations for a long period.
The court made the observation while hearing a case wherein the owner of a Tata Ace vehicle filed a petition explaining why the seized vehicle should be released. One of the reasons the petitioner mentioned was that his vehicle was left exposed to sun, rain and external hazards, which could cause irreversible damage and lead to decaying of the vehicle.
Justice Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi directed the authorities to release the vehicle to its owner, The Times Now reported.
“The vehicle in question cannot be left in a state of damage and decay being exposed to sun, rain, and other external hazards,” the high court order said.
The court also noted that seized vehicles should not be kept in police stations for a long period.
If a seized vehicle is part of an ongoing legal case in India, it’s unlikely to be released as long as the case continues. Some courts in India have ruled slightly differently. There have been quite a few cases where courts have ordered the release of a seized vehicle fearing external hazard to it, like in this case in Orissa High Court.
The law states that a seized vehicle can be returned to the owner by the Magistrate after taking appropriate bond, guarantee, as well as security for the return of the said vehicle if required at any point of time.
In the case of a seized vehicle not claimed by an owner, the insurance company can be allowed by the court to take possession of that vehicle. And for seized vehicles that are not claimed by insurance companies as well as owners, those may be ordered to be auctioned by the Court.