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PLD 2022 Lahore 271

PLD 2022 Lahore 271
In the statutes governing our country’s criminal administration of justice, the word “superdari” has not been used. However, it may be defined in its practical prospect as the interim custody of seized property connected with an offence, or suspected to have been stolen or found under circumstances which create suspicion of any offence, to the person entitled to its possession in lieu of furnishing a surety bond by the order of the Court for its production whenever necessary.

The word which has been used in the Criminal Procedural Law to cater for the concept of superdari is “Interim disposal”. Disposal of any seized property under the provision of Cr.P.C. may be either interim or final. Interim disposal is grant of custody of a seized property pending the conclusion of investigation or inquiry or trial whichever the case may be. Whereas final disposal is ordered after investigation, inquiry or trial is over. In fact, the interim disposal of a seized property has been named and called by our Courts as superdari. Superdari continues till the seized property is finally disposed off under Section 517 or 523 Cr.P.C. The order regarding superdari of a property is made when the following essential conditions are present:

  1. There must have been investigation, inquiry or trial.
  2. The property in respect of which the order is to be made must be one:
    a) regarding which any offence appears to have been committed,
    b) which has been used for commission of any offence,
  3. It is alleged or suspected to be stolen or when it is found in circumstances which gives rise to a suspicion that an offence has been or is about to be committed.
  4. It has been taken into custody.
  5. It is produced in the Court.
  6. Its seizure is reported to the Magistrate.

After seizure of the property by police an order for its superdari (interim disposal) can only be passed by the Court and police is expected to hold the property subject to the order of the Court which may be passed either under Section 516-A Cr.P.C. or under Section 523 ibid.

An open transfer letter is not a valid document of title and it does not transfer ownership of a vehicle in terms of the Provincial Motor Vehicles Ordinance, 1965 (Ordinance XIX of 1965). An applicant must have satisfied the Court with cogent material including title etc., at least to enable him to retain custody.

Superdari order should be passed in favour of a person entitled to its possession or from whom it was recovered unless there are strong reasons against it. Admittedly, the petitioner is not registered owner of the vehicle as depicts through impugned order. It is also fact that the matter was not reported to the Area Magistrate as required by section 523 Cr.P.C. There is also no denial to the fact that till today no case been registered with police regarding this tractor. It is settled that property can be given on Superdari under section 516-A Cr.P.C. if some offence appears to have been committed or which appears to have been used for the commission of any offence. Admittedly, the ingredients of section 516, Cr.P.C are lacking in the instant case, as no case whatsoever has been registered in respect of this tractor.

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