The Madhya Pradesh High Court quashed an illegal liquor transportation case registered against two truck drivers from Tamil Nadu and ordered the state government to pay compensation of Rs 20 lakh each to the two drivers in two months.
The HC said the two truck drivers were in jail for 20 months in a "frivolous case", which violated their Constitutional rights, and added the state government may recover the compensation amount from the officials who failed to investigate the case properly.
Justice Subodh Abhyankar of the Indore bench of the High Court had, on February 14, allowed the petitions filed by truck driver Sakul Hameed (56) and co-driver Ramesh Pullmar (41) and quashed the case registered against them at Nangalwadi police station in Barwani district.
The case was registered against Hameed and Pullmar under Indian Penal Code and Madhya Pradesh Excise Act for cheating and illegal transportation of liquor through forged documents, and the two were held on November 2, 2019 and released on bail on July 15, 2021.
The court, in its order, said a "frivolous case" was registered on the "whims" of the police officials and the probe was carried out with malafide intentions as there was no need for the police to stop and frisk the truck carrying liquor with valid documents and count each and every box.
As per the chargesheet submitted in the trial court, Hameed and Pullmar showed the police permit to carry 1,600 boxes of liquor from Chandigarh to Kerala, while on search of the goods vehicle, only 1,541 boxes were found, which revealed forgery of documents.