While ordering the authorities to release vehicles seized in connection with the illegal transportation of rice and sand, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the petitioners/owners who had undertaken to pay non-refundable costs, to pay the amount to the Government Observation Home in Madurai, for the welfare of the residents.
Passing the orders in separate petitions, Justice G.R. Swaminathan directed the amounts that ranged from ₹10,000 to ₹20,000 to be paid in favour of the Superintendent of the Government Observation Home, who shall spend the amount for the welfare of the institution or that of its inmates or towards the rehabilitation of its 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. The bills and other relevant materials should be enclosed along with the report. The Chairman of the Juvenile Justice Board, Madurai should oversee the process and ensure 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, the judge said.
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/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.