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B.J. Marda Vs. Trustees of the Port of Bombay - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCustoms
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petition No. 528 of 1982
Judge
Reported in1989(43)ELT262(Bom)
AppellantB.J. Marda
RespondentTrustees of the Port of Bombay
Excerpt:
customs - confiscation - petitioner imported glazing grease proof paper - goods were confiscated as they were not imported in accordance with import control regulations - petitioner sought to refund duty paid in respect of confiscated goods - upon confiscation goods vested in government - collection of customs duty thereon was without authority of law - court directed to refund amount of duty to petitioner. - .....that they were not imported in accordance with the import control regulations. on 5th january 1982 customs duty was assessed in respect of the goods in the sum of rs. 2,71,621/- and the same was paid by the petitioner. on 10th february, 1982 the goods were sold by the port trust authorities for non-payment of damages. the sale was pursuant to permission given in that behalf by the customs authorities. on 20th february 1982 the goods were seized by the customs authorities.3. on 1st march 1982 the 7th respondent herein, who was the transfer of the goods, filed a writ petition in this court, being writ petition no. 531 of 1982, challenging the seizure. on 16th march 1982 this petition was filed challenging the validity of the sale held by the port trust authorities. at the interim stage in.....
Judgment:

S.P. Bharucha, J.

1. The order that I now pass is a corollary to the order passed on 21st January, 1983 in Writ Petition No. 531 of 1982.

2. In April 1981 the petitioner imported 150 cartons of glazing grease proof paper. On 26th October 1981 the goods were confiscated by the Collector of Customs, Bombay, for the reason that they were not imported in accordance with the Import Control Regulations. On 5th January 1982 customs duty was assessed in respect of the goods in the sum of Rs. 2,71,621/- and the same was paid by the petitioner. On 10th February, 1982 the goods were sold by the port trust authorities for non-payment of damages. The sale was pursuant to permission given in that behalf by the customs authorities. On 20th February 1982 the goods were seized by the customs authorities.

3. On 1st March 1982 the 7th respondent herein, who was the transfer of the goods, filed a Writ Petition in this court, being Writ Petition No. 531 of 1982, challenging the seizure. On 16th March 1982 this petition was filed challenging the validity of the sale held by the port trust authorities. At the interim stage in this Writ Petition the confiscation order dated 26th October 1981 for the first time came to the notice of the petitioner and he learnt that the goods in respect of which he had paid customs duty on 5th January 1982 had in fact been confiscated earlier.

4. On 21st January, 1983 an order was passed in Writ Petition No. 531 of 1982 upon a statement being made by counsel for the customs authorities that the seized goods would be released to the petitioner therein.

5. The only prayer pressed before me is a prayer requiring the customs authorities to refund to the petitioner the amount of the customs duty collected. The argument is, and it cannot be refuted, that on 26th October, 1981, upon confiscation, the goods vested in the Government and the collection of customs duty thereon on 5th January 1982 was without authority of law. This is patent.

6. Respondents 2 and 3 are, therefore, directed to refund to the petitioner the sum of Rs. 2,71,621/- within eight weeks from today. There shall, however, be no order as to costs.


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