1. The appellant imported accessories of Fibre Optic Endoscope and filed a bill of entry dt. 17-10-2000. Inasmuch as the appellant was not having any import-export code number, he was asked to produce the same in terms of para 4.9 of the Exim Policy. The appellants contended that in view of Public Notice No. 17/CRE-2000, dt. 3-6-2000, he was not required to obtain any separate IEC number inasmuch as he fall under the category of "persons/institutions/hospitals importing or exporting goods for their personal use not connected with trade, manufacture or agriculture". The above explanation was not found favour with by the original adjudicating authority, who confiscated the goods with an option to the appellant to redeem the same on payment of redemption fine of Rs. 28,000/- (rupees twenty eight thousand). In addition personal penalty of Rs. 5,000/- (rupees five thousand) was also imposed upon him. On an appeal against the above order of the Additional Commissioner did not succeed before the Commissioner (Appeals). Hence the present appeal.
2. I have heard Shri Vijay Prahladka, ld. Adv. for the appellant and Shri T.K. Kar, ld. SDK for the Revenue.
3. The appellant's first contention is that the goods were imported for his personal use and were not meant for trade, manufacturing or agricultural purposes. There does not seem to be any dispute about the fact in the order of the authorities below that the goods were not meant for trading, manufacturing or agricultural purposes, but was imported by the said appellant, who is a Doctor to enhance the performance of the existing Endoscope for the treatment of his patients. As such it can be concluded that the same was for his personal use. The expression 'personal use' is not to be interpreted in a way that the goods should be used by the importer himself only and not on his patients. When the appellant is not trading in the said goods and was using the same in the Endoscope, which is already in existence, they have to be termed as for 'personal use'.
5. The appellants have also referred to the South Zonal Bench decision in the case of CC, Vaijack v. Shipping and Trading Associates (P) Ltd. - 2001 (128) E.L.T. 250 laying down that the goods cannot be confiscated on the ground of non-possession of export and import code number. As such following the ratio of the above decision I hold that the confiscation of the goods or imposition of personal penalty upon the appellant was not warranted. The same is accordingly set aside and appeal allowed with consequential relief to the appellant.