The Madhya Pradesh High Court has quashed the charge-sheet filed against two truck drivers for allegedly transporting liquor illegally.

Terming it to be a frivolous case, the Court directed the State to pay the two truck drivers Rs.20 each towards compensation after noting that they were imprisoned for a period of 1 year and 8 months in this case.

“…they have been imprisoned for a period of 1 year and 8 months in this frivolous case lodged only at the whims and caprice of the concerned police officers. This Court is of the considered opinion that the investigation was apparently carried out with malafide intentions…”, Justice Subodh Abhyankar noted.

It was alleged in the charge-sheet that the petitioners were transporting liquor without a proper license and that the permit which they were carrying mentioned 1600 cases of liquor, whereas the total number of liquor boxes/cases found in the truck were 1541.

It was alleged that the petitioners committed forgery by transporting the liquor illegally and that too with the quantity which was less than the quantity mentioned in the Permit.

Advocate Rishi Tiwari appeared for the petitioners whereas Advocate Hitendra Tripathi appeared for the State.

The Court observed that such shortfall in itself cannot amount to any forgery, especially when the import permits and the documents issued by the Chandigarh Excise Department are authentic and they also contain the route as also the driver's name, licence number etc.

The Court also noted that all the documents filed along with the charge-sheet supporting the transportation of the liquor have not been found to be inaccurate or forged in any manner.

Thus the Court discharged the petitioners-drivers from the charges.

The Court also noted that the petitioners were imprisoned for a period of 1 year and 8 months in this case in violation of their fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Thus the Court directed the State to pay Rs. 20 lakh compensation each to them.

Cause Title- Sakul Hamid & Anr. v. State of MP

Click here to read/download Order