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B.N. Mohankumar Versus The Additional Commissioner of Excise, (Enforcement) , The Deputy Commissioner of Excise

2015 (12) TMI 1035 - KERALA HIGH COURT

Commission of offence under Section 55(a) of the Kerala Abkari Act - Seizure of vehicle - Held that:- petitioner has failed to discharge his burden and that a bare statement that he had no knowledge of or complicity in the alleged crime is not sufficient to discharge the burden under Section 67C (2) of the Act. - burden cast on the owner of the vehicle under Section 67C(2) of the Act is a positive one. As has been rightly observed by the appellate authority, a mere passive denial is not sufficie .....

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hich are quite probable, it is hard to believe that the petitioner has any knowledge of, much less any complexity in, the offence alleged to have been committed by his driver. - petitioner has, in fact, discharged his burden under Section 67C(2) of the Act and thus deserved release of the vehicle in his favour. - Decided in favour of assessee. - WP (C). No. 8704 of 2010 (K) - Dated:- 20-11-2015 - Dama Seshadri Naidu, J. For the Petitioner : Sri. Jobi Jose Kondody For the Respondent : Sri. G. Gop .....

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Brandy. 3. The authorities have registered Crime No.32/2009for the alleged offence under Section 55(a) of the Kerala Abkari Act and arrested the driver alone who, in any event, later got acquitted. 4. As far as the vehicle is concerned, initially it was subjected to seizure and later released to the petitioner on his providing the bank guarantee in terms of Exhibit P2judgment of this Court. Finally, through Exhibit P5, the Deputy Commissioner of Excise exercising his powers under Section 67B of .....

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cial, at the time of registering the crime, recorded his statement in Malayalam, a language unknown to him. The learned counsel has also brought to my notice the fact that the five inmates of the car have not been made accused, nor have they been made to give statements concerning the alleged offence. 6. Be that as it may, the fact remains that in thecourse of time the driver has earned an acquittal. 7. The learned counsel has eventually contended that the petitioner has no knowledge of the alle .....

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Section 67C of the Act. Thus justifies the learned Government Pleader both Exhibits P5and P7 orders passed by the authorities concerned. 9. Indeed, the facts are not in dispute. The vehicle as well as its inmates belongs to Karnataka. The driver has gone on record stating that at the behest of the in mates of the car he purchased those bottles of liquor in Karnataka. Presumably, the inmates of the car desired to have a stopover in this State on route to Tamil Nadu, spend their holiday, and then .....

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authority that the petitioner has failed to discharge his burden and that a bare statement that he had no knowledge of or complicity in the alleged crime is not sufficient to discharge the burden under Section 67C (2) of the Act. 11. Without much cavil, I am inclined to hold that the burden cast on the owner of the vehicle under Section 67C(2) of the Act is a positive one. As has been rightly observed by the appellate authority, a mere passive denial is not sufficient. But the totality of the ci .....

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o their desire, they may in that process cross the line of law. Punishable it is, but can the owner of a vehicle residing miles away be made to suffer on that count? In the present instance, if we assume that the driver, at the behest of the travelers or otherwise, purchased liquor meant, apparently, for personal consumption. Accepting the said sequence of events which are quite probable, it is hard to believe that the petitioner has any knowledge of, much less any complexity in, the offence all .....

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Single Judge, and it reads as follows: "2. [Section 67C of the Act prohibits confiscation, if the use of the vehicle for commission of the offence is without the knowledge or connivance of the owner or the person in charge of the vehicle, and if each of them had taken all reasonable and necessary precautions against such use. In other words, the power of confiscation can be exercised only if the authorised officer is satisfied that the vehicle has been used for commission of offence with t .....

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of the owner or the person in charge of the vehicle and that both of them had taken all necessary and reasonable precautions against such use is on the owner of the vehicle. However, since the statute does not contemplate confiscation of a vehicle when the same is used for commission of an offence, without the knowledge and connivance of the owner or the person incharge of the vehicle, when they have taken all necessary and reasonable precautions against such use, merely for the reason that the .....

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