Team  SoOLEGAL
Acquittal in a criminal case is a factor in deciding Confiscation Proceedings under the MP Cow Slaughter Prohibition Act: SC
Team SoOLEGAL 21 Mar 2022

Acquittal in a criminal case is a factor in deciding Confiscation Proceedings under the MP Cow Slaughter Prohibition Act: SC

When the owner of a vehicle allegedly implicated in cattle smuggling was acquitted by the trial court under Madhya Pradesh Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 2004, the Supreme Court stated that confiscating the vehicle would be arbitrary deprivation of property and it would infringe his right provided under Article 300A of the Constitution. The truck was allowed to be released by Supreme Court.

The counsel for the appellant Mr. Pulkit Tare, Adv. Submitted that the confiscation of the vehicle is unjustified because the allegation of slaughter is not proved and the criminal proceedings have culminated into acquittal. Further, Article 300-A of the Constitution of India provides that no person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law. Therefore, for the State to deprive any person of their private property, it is necessary to establish, (a) that the said property was illegally obtained; (b) is part of the proceeds of crime; (c) the property has become a Government property under the process of law.

In the present case, the appellants truck was confiscated on account of the criminal proceedings alone and therefore, under the applicable law, the vehicle cannot be withheld and then confiscated by the State, when the original proceedings have culminated into acquittal, the Apex court observed.

"In a case where the offender/accused is acquitted in the Criminal Prosecution, the District Magistrate should consider the judgement given in the Criminal Trial when deciding the confiscation proceeding," the bench of Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy observed.

Abdul Vahab's appeal against the Madhya Pradesh High Court's decision was allowed by the Supreme Court.

Even after the accused individuals were acquitted from the criminal case, the High Court of Madhya Pradesh upheld the orders of the lower courts, holding that the District Magistrate did not make an error in ordering the truck's confiscation. 

The Supreme Court stated that in cases when the offender/accused is acquitted in a criminal prosecution, the District Magistrate should consider the criminal trial result while resolving the confiscation process.

The truck owner filed a petition in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh under section 482 CrPC, in which the High Court asserted the orders of the forums below, while holding that the District Magistrate made no error in ordering the truck's confiscation, even after the accused persons in the criminal case were acquitted.

The appellant has challenged a confiscation order issued by the District Magistrate of Agar Malwa on 09.08.2017 for the appellant's truck, seeking to exercise powers under Section 11(5) of the MP Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 2004 and Rule 5 of the M.P Govansh Vadh Pratishedh Rules, 2012. The Court of Additional Commissioner, Ujjain, upheld the confiscation order on 22.9.2018. In the Criminal Revision, the Additional Sessions Judge, Ujjain dismissed the Revision Petition contesting the confiscation judgement.

The appellant's truck, which was loaded with 17 calves, was stopped, and the driver, Surendra, and one other person, Nazir, who was sitting in the truck, were arrested. Following that, a case was filed at Police Station Kannad in the district of Agar Malwa for violations of Sections 4 and 9 of the 2004 Act, as well as Section 11 (d) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (for short, 'the 1960 Act'). The truck was seized, and the accused, including the truck owner, were charged with the offences.

The trial determined, however, that the prosecution had failed to prove the primary element of the accusation, that the calves were being transported "for the purpose of slaughter," and that no violation had been committed under the Act.

 

Did you find this write up useful? YES 0 NO 0
Featured Members view all

×

C2RMTo Know More

Something Awesome Is In The Work

0

DAYS

0

HOURS

0

MINUTES

0

SECONDS

Sign-up and we will notify you of our launch.
We’ll also give some discount for your effort :)

* We won’t use your email for spam, just to notify you of our launch.
×

SAARTHTo Know More

Launching Soon : SAARTH, your complete client, case, practise & document management SAAS application with direct client chat feature.

If you want to know more give us a Call at :+91 98109 29455 or Mail info@soolegal.com