CJDA 38 - Lahore High Court

Form No: HCJD/C-121
Case No.
Muhammad Sajjad
Date of
Writ Petition No. 9894 of 2014
The State etc.
Order with signature of Judge, and that of parties
or counsel, where necessary.
27.06.2014 Mr. Humayoun Rashid, Advocate for the petitioner.
Mr. Razaul Karim Butt, Assistant Advocate-General for the
State with respondent No.4/Muhammad Jameel Inspector/
Incharge AVLS, Gulberg, Lahore.
Through this writ petition, petitioner assails the order of
learned Additional Sessions Judge, Lahore dated 09.04.2014,
dismissing the revision petition filed by the petitioner against
the order of learned Area Magistrate dated 15.03.2014,
refusing application of the petitioner for grant of superdari of
Car Toyota Corolla bearing registration No. LC-584.
Learned counsel for the petitioner contends that the
impugned-orders passed by both the learned courts below are
against the law and facts on record; that the petitioner is a
bona fide purchaser of the disputed vehicle, that was taken
into possession by the Anti Vehicle Lifting Staff (AVLS),
Gulberg. Lahore, under Section 550, Cr.P.C. from the
petitioner and there is no rival claimant of the same, therefore,
petitioner being last possessor, is entitled for superdari of the
vehicle. Learned counsel has placed reliance on the case law
2005 SCMR 735 and 2002 YLR 699.
Arguments heard. Record perused.
Vehicle in question i.e. Toyota Corolla Car was seized
by the Anti Vehicle Lifting Staff (AVLS), Gulberg, Lahore on
suspicion under Section 550, Cr.P.C. on 27.11.2013 and was
sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for verification of its
Writ Petition No. 9894 of 2014
chassis and engine numbers. The result of report of Forensic
Science Agency dated 07.01.2014 (Annexure-B) reflects as
under: “Result:
 Chassis number before examination NZE 120-0038250.
 Chassis number after examination NZE 120-0038250.
 Chassis number has been cut & welded.
 Engine number before examination 2545325
 Engine number after examination 2545325
 The chassis number of the above said vehicle has
been tampered.
 The engine number of the above said vehicle has
not been tampered.”
It is worth mentioning that as per (duplicate)
Registration Book (Annexure-A) engine number has been
mentioned ‘2197191’ whereas the report shows the same as
‘2545325’. The learned Area Magistrate, after summoning the
relevant record from the concerned quarter, vide his orderdated 15.03.2014, dismissed the application of the petitioner
while observing as under: “The report of police perused which shows that the vehicle
was got examined through Forensic Science Agency and
according to report of Forensic Science Agency, the Chassis
No. cut and welded. The following are the Chassis No. as
well as Engine No.
On Registration Book
On Police Report
Chassis No.
Engine No.
The above mentioned table shows that Chassis No. is the
same in the police report as well as in registration
certificate with the report of Forensic Science Agency but it
is cut and welded whereas Engine No. is different. It clearly
means that the Engine No. present in the vehicle is not the
same which was registered alongwith vehicle. There is no
order for changing of Engine in registration certificate
produced by the petitioner nor he has produced any other
document whereas the question is that if the petitioner
purchased a cleared vehicle then what was the necessity to
Writ Petition No. 9894 of 2014
temper his Chassis No. by way of cut and weld. The
registration book produced is duplicate. Now one thing is
clear that the vehicle which was took into custody from the
petitioner is not same of which the petitioner has the
document i.e. registration book in his hand. So there is no
nexus of this vehicle with the petitioner. The petitioner kept
the tempered vehicle in his custody without any ground or
Though petitioner has no nexus with this vehicle. He
may have some documents but the same are of some other
vehicle and not this particular vehicle. Upon asking of this
Court the petitioner states that he has no other document
neither of purchase nor any paper of original file.”
Admittedly the disputed vehicle does not have its original
chassis number, even engine number is different from the one
mentioned in the registration book produced by the petitioner.
It has been noticed with concern that car was taken into
possession by the Anti Vehicle Lifting Staff, Gulberg. Lahore
on 27.11.2013 and duplicate registration book reflects transfer
of vehicle in the name of the petitioner on 06.02.2014 when
the same was in the police custody awaiting report of Forensic
Science Laboratory regarding its identity.
As far as argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner
that under Section 517, Cr.P.C. petitioner being last possessor
of the vehicle is entitled for superdari of the same as of right,
is misconceived. Under Section 516-A, Cr.P.C. “the court
may make such order as it thinks fit for the proper custody of
such property pending the conclusion of the inquiry or
trial”. The words “may make such order” is sufficient to
reflect the intention of law that Court can pass any appropriate
order regarding the seized property as it thinks proper and a
last possessor cannot claim superdari of the property as of
right. In the case of Central Co-operative Bank Ltd.
Sargodha versus Ahmad Bakhsh (PLD 1970 Supreme
Court 343) and Republic Motors Ltd. versus M. Anwar
Writ Petition No. 9894 of 2014
and others (1980 S C M R 954), it has been held that
“Property though to be restored to the party from whom it
was taken yet such rule of law is not absolute and can be
departed from under special circumstances.”
Keeping in view the above referred legal position, I am of the
identification cannot be allowed to play on roads as the same
cannot be stamped to be of a particular owner that is a serious
security threat and such like vehicles are being used in
criminal activities including smuggling of narcotics and bomb
blasts. It is high time to discourage allowing such vehicles to
put on superdari on the basis of duplicate registration books of
the stolen or destroyed vehicles. It has come to the notice of
this Court in numerous cases that in official public auctions
people bid and buy the discarded/damaged vehicles at
exorbitant high prices only to get registration books and then
these books are being used with tampered vehicles after
getting duplicate registration books of the same and
embossing identification marks with tampering techniques.
These are the cases where courts have to take exception to the
general rule of giving vehicles on superdari to their last
possessor just in routine. Needless to add that in case of failure
of an owner to establish his entitlement for superdari in
cursory proceedings before the Court concerned, he has a right
under the relevant law to establish his ownership before the
Civil Court and if any such suit is filed the Civil Court
concerned can pass a decree in favour of the actual owner of
the property notwithstanding any observation made in the
cursory proceedings of superdari of said vehicle by any Court.
Case law relied upon by the learned counsel for the
petitioner 2005 SCMR 735, is of no help to the petitioner as in
Writ Petition No. 9894 of 2014
that case, car was having its proper identification i.e. engine
number and chassis number. In the case 2002 YLR 699, the
identity of chassis of disputed vehicle was intact (not cut and
welded as in this case). Matter regarding the vehicles with
doubtful identity has been dealt with in the case of Ch.
Maqbool Ahmed versus Customs, Federal Excise and Sales
Tax, Appellate Tribunal and 3 others (2009 SCMR 226),
wherein the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan has approved
the view of Customs Department that a vehicle with tampered
chassis frame is liable to outright confiscation. Learned
counsel for the petitioner remained unable to demonstrate
existence of any valid ground justifying interference of this
Court in the concurrent finding of both the courts below in its
Resultantly, this writ petition being devoid of any force is
(Muhammad Anwaarul Haq)
Approved for reporting