The Bombay High Court has directed the Thane collector and the deputy commissioner of the police concerned to take appropriate departmental action against the officials concerned who seized two dumper trucks without following procedure.
A division bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice RM Sawant on Friday directed the Kashimira police, where the dumper trcuks are kept, to return them to the owners, Rumao Constructions.
Rumao Constructions had approached the court after the flying squad of the Thane Collector’s office seized two of their vehicles on February 27.
One of the dumper trucks was loaded with murrum (type of stone).
The flying squad claimed that the murrum was excavated from a village in Vasai, which was banned.
Rumao Constructions was willing to pay the penalty as claimed by the collector's office.
However, their vehicles were not released and hence they approached the high court.
While releasing the vehicles, the high court observed, "We are aghast at the conduct of the officials both of the Revenue department as well as the police department. We are surprised that not a semblance of any procedure was followed before seizing the two vehicles."
Besides, even though the dumpers were seized, no panchnama or record was created explaining why they were seized.
"This, in our view, casts a serious suspicion with regards to the real intention and motive of the authorities in seizing the vehicles and can only lead to a conclusion that the said vehicles were seized for extraneous reasons and with malafide intentions," the high court said.
The Bombay High Court asked the collector and the deputy commissioner of the police concerned to take action against the officers, observing:
"We [high court] would be failing in our duty, if we do not direct the higher officials of the revenue and the police department to take corrective measures so that such actions are not repeated in future."