1. On 15-7-1980, the Superintendent of Central Excise seized gold from the petitioner at Waltair. The matter was taken up under the Gold (Control) Act and adjudication proceedings are now pending.
2. The petitioner now contends that the mediators to the report prepared regarding the seizure of the gold and the persons who have witnessed the seizure of the gold may be summoned under Section 63 of the Gold (Control) Act. Section 63 gives power to any Gold Control Officer of a gazetted rank to summon any person whose attendance he considers necessary either to give evidence or to produce any document etc. The purpose of the Section is to compel the witnesses to depose before the adjudicating authority, so that the adjudication proceedings may be conducted on the basis of the evidence and after giving full effective opportunity to the person from whom gold was seized. I, therefore, consider that the Collector, Central Excise, should have summoned the persons who have been cited as witnesses by the petitioner. Of course, it is always open to the Gold Control Officer to refuse that request if he considers that the presence of the persons cited by the petitioner is unnecessary. But that was not the case here. In the absence of refusal based upon that ground, I have no option except to direct the Collector, Central Excise, to summon the witnesses whose names have already been furnished by the petitioner and allow the petitioner to examine them as his witnesses. There will be a direction in the terms indicated above, but there shall be no order as to costs.
3. Writ Petition is allowed to the above extent.