Powers and Duties of officers and landholders

Central Excise Act – CHAPTER III
POWERS AND DUTIES OF OFFICERS AND LANDHOLDERS

Section 12E.Powers of Central Excise Officers.
(1)A Central Excise Officer may exercise the powers and discharge the
duties conferred or imposed under this Act on any other Central Excise Officer who is
subordinate to him.
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1.See now the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962).
2.Ins. by Act 79 of 1985, s. 4.
3.Renumbered and ins. by Act 29 of 1988, S.10 (w.e.f. 1-7-1988).
4.Subs. by Act 40 of 1991, S.3 (w.e.f. 20-9-1991).
5.Subs. by S.4, ibid. (w.e.f.20-9-1991).
6.Ins. by S.5, ibid. (w.e.f. 20-9-1991).
7.Ins. by S.6, ibid. (w.e.f. 20-9-1991).
8.Renumbered by Act 40 of 1991, S.7 (w.e.f. 20-9-1991).
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(2)Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Collector
of Central Excise (Appeals) shall not exercise the powers and discharge the duties conferred or imposed on a Central Excise Officer other than those specified in section 14 or ChapterVIA.]

Section 13. Power to arrest
(1)Any Central Excise Officer duly empowered by the Central Government inthis behalf may arrest any person whom he has reason to believe to be liable to punishment under this Act.
(2)Any person accused or reasonably suspected ‘of committing an offence
under this Act or any rules made there under, who on demand of any officer duly empowered by the, Central Government in this behalf refuses to give his name and residence, or who gives anameor residence which such officer has reason to believe to be false, may be arrested by such officer in order that his name and residence maybe ascertained.

Section 14. Power to summon persons to give evidence and produce documents in inquiries under this Act.
(1)Any Central Excise Officer duly empowered by the Central Government
in this behalf shall have power to summon any person whose attendance he considers
necessary either to give evidence or to produce a document or any other thing in any
inquiry which such officer is making for any of the purposes of this Act.A summons to produce documents or other things may be for the production of certain specified documents or things or for the production of all documents or things of a certain description in the possession or under the control of the person summoned.
(2)All persons so summoned shall be bound to attend, either in person or
by an authorised agent, as such officer may, direct; and all persons so summoned shall be
bound to state the truth upon any subject respecting which they are examined or make
statements and to produce such documents and other things as may be required:
Provided that the exemptions under sections 132 and 133ofthe
Code of Civil Procedure shall be applicable to requisitions for attendance under this
section. (5 of 1980).
(3)Every such inquiry as aforesaid shall be deemed to be a “judicial
proceeding” within the meaning of section 193 and section 228 of the Indian Penal Code. (45 of 1860).

Section 15. Officers required to assist Central Excise Officers.
All officers of Police and Customs and all officers of Government engaged in the
collection of land revenue, and all village officers are hereby empowered and required to
assist the Central Excise Officers in the execution of this Act.

Section 16. Owners or occupiers of land to report manufacture of contraband excisable goods.
Every owner or occupier of land, and the agent of any such owner or occupier in
charge of the management of that land, if contraband excisable goods are manufactured
thereon, shall in the absence of reasonable excuse be bound to give notice of such
manufacture to a Magistrate, or to an officer of the Central Excise,Customs, Police,
or Land Revenue Department, immediately the fact comes to his knowledge.

Section 17. Punishment or connivance at offences.
Any owner or occupier of land, or any agent of such owner or occupier in
charge of the management of that land, who wilfully connives at any offence against the
provisions of this Act or of any rules made there under shall for every Such offence be
punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine
which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

Section 18. Searches and arrests how to be made.
All searches made under this Act or any rules ‘made there under and all arrests
made under this Act shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 18981, relating respectively to ‘searches and arrests made under that
Code. (5 of 1898).

Section 19. Disposal of persons arrested.
Every person arrested under this Act shall be forwarded without delay to the
nearest Central Excise Officer empowered to send persons so arrested to a Magistrate, or,
if there is no such Central Excise Officer within a reasonable distance,-to the
officer-in-charge of the nearest police-station.

Section 20. Procedure to be followed by officer-in-charge of police station.
The officer-in-charge of a police-station to whom any person is forwarded under
section 19shall either admit him to bail to appear before the Magistrate having
jurisdiction, or in default of bail forward him in custody to such Magistrate.
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1.See row the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).
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Inquiry how to be made by Central Excise Officers against arrested persons forwarded to them under section 19

Section 21.
(1)When any person is forwarded under section 19 to a Central Excise
Officer empowered to send persons so arrested to a Magistrate, the Central Excise Officer
shall proceed to inquire into the charge against him.
(2)For this purpose the Central Excise Officer may exercise the same
powers and shall be subject to the same provisions as the officer-in-charge of a
police-station may exercise and is subject to under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 18981,when investigating a cognizable case: (5 of 1898).
Provided that
(a)if the Central Excise Officer is of opinion that there
is sufficient evidence or reasonable ground of suspicion against the accused person, he
shall either admit him to bail lo appear before a Magistrate having jurisdiction in the
case, or forward him in custody to such Magistrate;
(b)if it appears to the Central Excise Officer that there is
not sufficient evidence or reasonable ground of suspicion against the accused person, he
shall release the accused person on his executing a bond, with or without sureties as
the Central Excise Officer may direct, to appear, if and when so required before the
Magistrate having jurisdiction,and shall make a full report of all the particulars of
the case to his official superior.

Section 22. Vexatious search, seizure, etc., by Central Excise Officer.
Any Central Excise or other officer exercising powers under this Act or under
the rules made there under who
(a)without reasonable ground of suspicion searches or causes to be
searched any house, boat or place;
(b)vexatiously and unnecessarily detains,searches or arrests any
person;
(c)vexatiously and unnecessarily seizes the moveable property of any
person, on pretence of seizing or searching for any article liable to confiscation under
this Act;
(d)commits, as such officer, any other act to the injury of any person,
without having reason to believe that such act is required for the execution of his duty;
shall,for every such offence, be punishable with fin ewhich may extend to two
thousand rupees.
Any person wilfully and maliciously giving false information and so
causing an arrest or a search to be made under this Act shall be punishable with fine
which may extend to two thousand rupees or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with both.

Section 23. Failure of Central Excise Officer in duty.
Any Central Excise Officer who ceases or refuses to perform or withdraws himself from the duties of his office, unless he has obtained the express written permission of the Collector of Central Excise, or has given to his superior officer two months’ notice in writing of his intention or has other lawful excuse,shall on conviction
before a Magistrate be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to
three months or with fine which may extend to three months’ pay, or with both.

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