While ordering the authorities to release vehicles seized in connection with illegal transport of rice and sand, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the petitioners or owners, who had undertaken to pay non-refundable costs, to pay the money to the Government Observation Home in Madurai, for the welfare of the inmates.
Passing the orders in separate petitions, Justice G.R. Swaminathan directed that the money that ranged from ₹10,000 to ₹20,000 be paid in favour of the Superintendent of the Government Observation Home, who can spend it for the institution or for the welfare of the inmates or towards rehabilitation of former inmates.
The court directed the Superintendent to submit a report to the Registrar (Administration) of the High Court Bench indicating the exact deployment of the funds, along with bills and other relevant documents. The Chairman of the Juvenile Justice Board in Madurai should oversee the process till the end use, the judge observed.
Taking note of the fact that the vehicles in custody were not produced before the jurisdictional court concerned, the court observed that it had time and again held that keeping the vehicles in custody of the authorities was not going to serve any purpose. It will contribute to the loss of value.
Though criminal cases were registered, the vehicles in question were yet to be produced before the jurisdictional court and the cases were still under investigation. The court directed the petitioners or owners not to alienate or encumber the vehicles, till the proceedings were completed. The petitioners have to produce the vehicles in question before the authorities concerned as and when called for inquiry and should cooperate in the inquiry, the judge said.
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