HYDERABAD: Taking a serious view of violation of the court orders regarding release of a seized vehicle, Justice Challa Kodanda Ram of the Telangana High Court imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on Syed Yasin Quereshi, Deputy Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise of Mahabubnagar district, to be collected from his salary and payable to the State.
No useful purpose would be served if the seized vehicles are detained in authorities premises as the vehicles will be deteriorated on account of exposure to sun and rain. In fact, the release is also a conditional release subject to the result of pending enquiry under the provisions of Excise Act. Therefore, the arguments of the authorities on the issue does not hold water, the judge observed.
Justice Kodanda Ram passed this order while disposing of a contempt case filed by a person named J Ramesh seeking to punish the respondent authority for willfully violating the order passed by the court earlier under the Contempt of Court Act.
As for the case, the petitioner’s vehicle was seized on the ground that he is transporting jaggery for manufacture of illicit liquor. In fact, there is no prohibition or control order per se prohibiting transportation of jaggery which is a common edible item and the seizure was only on the suspicion that the jaggery would be used in manufacture of illicit liquor.
While disposing of the petition filed by Ramesh, the court ordered for release of the seized vehicle pending inquiry and subject to the petitioner furnishing an undertaking that he shall not alienate or create third party rights on the vehicle and alter the physical features of such vehicle. When the authorities failed to release the vehicle, the present contempt case was filed.
After hearing the case, Justice Kodanda Ram found that the respondent authority has filed an appeal only after receipt of notice in the contempt case. Further, the judge found that the seized vehicle was released after about four and half months from the date of the court order that too after much persuasion and filing of contempt case.
The judge opined that the explanation offered by the officer does not appear to be bonafide. Not satisfied with the submissions of the government counsel appearing for the officer, the judge imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 to be collected from the salary of the said officer.
Vehicles seized not released for 4 months
Justice Kodanda Ram found that the respondent authority has filed an appeal only after receipt of notice in the contempt case. The judge found that the seized vehicle was released after four and half months from the date of the order, after filing of contempt case.