“Bombay High Court Orders Return of Seized Luxury Cars: Legal Victory for Owners”
In a significant legal development, the Bombay High Court has directed the police to return a fleet of luxury cars seized from a mall in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) on January 26. The impounded vehicles comprised high-end models from renowned brands such as Porsche, Mercedes, Ferrari, Audi, Lamborghini, Jaguar, and BMW.
A division bench, consisting of Justices Anuja Prabhudessai and Nitin Borkar, issued the directive to the BKC police, urging the immediate return of the luxury cars to their rightful owners. This decision came during the hearing of petitions filed by several car owners seeking the return of their vehicles and the quashing of FIRs filed against them.
Lawyers representing the owners, including Aabad Ponda, Sudatt Patil, and Kedar Patil, argued that the cars were unlawfully detained, citing a gross violation of legal procedures.
Details of the Case:
The BKC police had seized 41 high-end cars and filed FIRs against 43 individuals for violating unlawful assembly orders. The police asserted that a prohibition on the assembly of five or more persons was in effect from January 23-24, extending until February 2, as a precautionary measure ahead of Republic Day.
The impounded cars were intended for participation in a rally organized by an event management company to celebrate Republic Day. The rally, scheduled to start from BKC and traverse through Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, Atal Setu, and back, was abruptly halted by the police, who claimed it breached the prohibitory orders.
An FIR was lodged against the owners and organizers under Section 188 (deliberate disobedience of a public servant’s order) and relevant sections of the Maharashtra Police Act 1951. The police alleged that the rally lacked the necessary permission.
Contrarily, the car owners argued that the police acted high-handedly, failing to communicate the prohibitory orders or the absence of permission. The court has acknowledged the petitions filed by the car owners, which are set for further hearings.
This legal victory marks a turning point for the owners, emphasizing the importance of adherence to due process and fair treatment in such cases. The Bombay High Court’s decision reaffirms the principle of justice in the face of contested police actions.