No need to keep recovered mobile phones till trial ends, orders court
The court of an additional district judge (ADJ) has cancelled the no-sale clause of a lower court order of October, 2015, in which the lower court had ordered the release of 1,498 mobile phones, recovered after robberies, to the company the phones belonged to but added the clause that the company cannot sell them till the trial proceedings are over.
The ADJ’s order came in case of a case filed last year of a truck loaded with mobile phones of VIVO company, along with some other goods, were stolen by one Ashok Kumar, a truck driver. The truck was owned by Laxmi Transport. Its owner, Suresh Chand, had lodged an FIR at the Ecotech 1 police station. Police had later arrested some persons in connection with the case and recovered some of the stolen mobile phones.
On August 9, 2018, VIVO had filed an application before a lower court seeking possession of the recovered mobile phones as well as permission to sell them. On October 15, the court had disposed of the application, accepting the appeal partially. The court had ordered handover of 1,498 mobile phones to the company, with a rider that the company will not sell these items till the completion of trial.
It was stated mobile phones are electronic items whose software keeps on updating, and that new models are regularly launched by mobile phone companies making older models obsolete as people prefer buying newly launched ones.
It was argued if the mobile phones are kept in police custody, they will become obsolete with the passage of time and they will then have no value. There is no time limit for the trial. It is not justifiable to keep the mobile phones in police custody till the end of trial proceedings, the company had contended. Prosecution claimed there was no illegality in the lower court order.
The Supreme Court, in such cases in the past, had stated that if the production of recovered goods before the court is not essential then photographs of the products can be taken and a seizure report can be submitted before the court. “Additional sessions judge Nalin Kumar Srivastava observed that there is no need to produce the recovered mobile phones before the court. Photographs of the recovered mobile phones can be taken and produced before the court.
On Tuesday, the ADJ accepted the application partially and cancelled the no-sale clause of the lower court order. The lower court has been directed to take action as per the legal opinions cited in the order,” CR Dwivedi, senior prosecution officer, said.