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Devinder Singh, Asstt. Collector, Customs and Central Excise Vs. State of Punjab - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCustoms
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Misc. No. 5750-M of 1980
Judge
Reported in1982(10)ELT272(P& H)
ActsCustoms Act, 1962 - Sections 111, 135 and 135(1); Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) - Sections 482
AppellantDevinder Singh, Asstt. Collector, Customs and Central Excise
RespondentState of Punjab
Appellant Advocate Gopi Chand, Adv.
Respondent Advocate T.N. Bhalla, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
- sections 80 (2) & 89 & punjab motor vehicles rules, 1989, rules 85 & 80: [t.s. thakur, cj, jasbir singh & surya kant, jj] appeal against orders of state or regional transport authority imitation held, a stipulation regarding the period of limitation available for invoking the remedy shall have to be strictly construed. that is because any provision by way of limitation is in the nature of a restraint on the remedy provided under the act. so viewed two inferences are clear viz., (1) sections 80 and 89 of the act read with rule 85 of the rules make it obligatory for the authorities making the order to communicate it to the applicant concerned and (2) the period of limitation for any appeal against the order is reckonable from the date of such communication of the reasons would imply..........in default three months' rigorous imprisonment. while pronouncing order of sentence, the learned trial magistrate ordered the watches and straps recovered from the accused to be confiscated to the punjab state. the punjab state was not a party to the proceedings.2. the complainant in the first instance filed a review petition before the trial magistrate, but for obvious reasons, the same was dismissed as he could not review his order. later he filed a revision petition against that order before the additional sessions judge, patiala but it was left uninterfered with on the same premises. now through this petition under section 482, criminal procedure code, inherent powers have been invoked by the complainant praying that the order of the trial magistrate dated 21-12-1979 be altered so.....
Judgment:
ORDER

M.M. Punchhi, J.

1. At the instance of the complainant Devinder Singh, I.R.S., Assistant Collector, Customs and Central Excise, Patiala, Chunu Mal was convicted on a complaint under Section 135(1)(b)(ii) of the Customs Act, 1962 and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of one year and ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 2,000, in default three months' rigorous imprisonment. While pronouncing order of sentence, the learned trial Magistrate ordered the watches and straps recovered from the accused to be confiscated to the Punjab State. The Punjab State was not a party to the proceedings.

2. The complainant in the first instance filed a review petition before the trial Magistrate, but for obvious reasons, the same was dismissed as he could not review his order. Later he filed a revision petition against that order before the Additional Sessions Judge, Patiala but it was left uninterfered with on the same premises. Now through this petition under Section 482, Criminal Procedure Code, inherent powers have been invoked by the complainant praying that the order of the trial Magistrate dated 21-12-1979 be altered so as to bring it within the conformity of law.

3. It is true that the complainant had a right of revision against that order of the trial Magistrate dated 21-12-1979 which he did not avail of. The complainant adopted another course but it turned to be an exercise in futility. By invoking jurisdiction of this Court under Section 482, Criminal Procedure Code, this Court can exercise not only powers thereunder but also as that of the first revisional Court, if otherwise it comes to its notice that an illegality has been committed by any Court subordinate to it in exercise of its criminal functions. Here the illegality is patent. Section 135 of the Customs Act, 1962 provides for punishments which can be imposed for evasion of duty or violating prohibitions mentioned therein. The penalties provided are only in the nature of imprisonment, or fine, or both. Confiscation of the goods involved in the crime is not a punishment which is prescribed under the aforesaid section. Confiscation of articles is otherwise permissible under Section 111 of the Customs Act, 1962 but that alone by a proper order of the Customs Authorities. Here undisputably the Customs Authorities had before hand taken proceedings under Chapter 14 of the Act and confiscated the goods. A new confiscation of the same goods in favour of the Punjab State was wholly unwarranted and without jurisdiction. The goods were not available requiring an order of disposal by the Court. Such being the position, this Court can interfere to 'rectify the mistake.

4. As a sequel to the aforesaid discussion, this petition is allowed and paragraph 16 of the judgment of the trial Magistrate dated 21-12-1979 is ordered to be delated otherwise qua the remaining the order remains uninterfered with. Ordered accordingly.


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