1. This appeal under Section 129A(1) of the Customs Act, 1962 arises out of order No. S/49-405/82 dated 11-11-82 passed by the Appellate Collector of Customs, Bombay.
2. The appellant arrived in India on 3-10-82 from Muscat and claimed clearance of his personal belongings under the Transfer of Residence Rules except for one VCR-Akai Model VS-9800 valued at Rs, 9000/-. All the other items were passed by the Assistant Collector of Customs. He held that on the date of purchase of the VCR, the appellant was not in Oman as he was in Cairo during that period. The appellant's contention that he had purchased it while in Oman and that the store showed purchase in the relevant month for their own purpose, was not found convincing argument, after examining the VCR. In his appeal it was argued that the VCR was purchased on his return from Cairo on 3-7-81 and it looked new as it was serviced two days prior to departure. Since the VCR was out of Customs charge and could not be examined, the Appellate Collector rejected that appeal.
3. Now, in the written, as well as personal submissions by learned counsel, it is contended that the Assistant Collector did not understand the case. All purchases were made personally by the appellant or through his friends. Though it was not necessary, he produced all the receipts and his passport without hesitation. What was important was whether the items were in his use or not. The very fact that the coloured T.V. has been allowed under the Rules shows that the VCR was in his use, since there are no good programmes in the Middle East. The model is also very old and he could very well have brought the latest model, if he had to pay duty, compared to this old model which has hardly any resale value. He could easily have avoided producing the bill by declaring it as a gift but since he had purchased it with his hard earned money he was truthful. Finally, he was mis-guided by the officer who advised him to pay full duty on the VCR and collect it and then prefer an appeal; and now his appeal is rejected because the article is not in Customs charge. He is also heavily hit since he resigned his job in Muskat and has to find a new one here. Shri Krishan Kumar countered these arguments by saying that the date of purchase and the date of receipt are admittedly different.
There was no way of satisfying the condition that the VCR had been purchased one year prior to 3-10-82. Further, it was found to be new and this does not tally with the supposed date of purchase. The concession was therefore rightly denied.
4. The main evidence against the appellant is that he produced a receipt dated 30-6-81 given at Oman, when his passport showed he was away at Cairo from 26-6-81 to 3-7-81 and also that the VCR was found to be new and showed no sign of use. It is seen that a spontaneous explanation was given regarding the discrepancy in the dates of actual and receipted purchase; and it is not unconvincing. Considerable weight also has to be given to the fact that since he returned on 3rd Oct., 1982, he could very well have procured a receipt any time upto 2nd October, 1981 when he was at Oman, had the receipt not been genuine.
Note has also to be taken of the other arguments advanced, specially the fact that the colour TV, with which a VCR goes, was allowed the concession, along with all the other articles. It is also seen that the appellant had a CCP which went unutilised. It may be true that the article looked new and the appellant appears to have acquiesced in this finding, as witnessed by his signature on the report, but the fact that it was an old model ought not to be ignored. All the attendant circumstances considered, there is a positive doubt in favour of the appellant. We would give him the benefit and accordingly set aside the order appealed against with consequential relief to the Appellant.