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Bhagawandas Kalachand Kripalani Vs. the Collector of Central Excise - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCustoms
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1964)1MLJ354
AppellantBhagawandas Kalachand Kripalani
RespondentThe Collector of Central Excise
Excerpt:
- .....staff on 22nd august, 1959. the search of the shop yielded nothing. from the house twenty old gold coins and two radio sets, one of which was a transistor set, were seized. in the view that the gold coins were of foreign origin, as also the radios, action under the sea customs act was taken. the explanation of the petitioner was that these gold coins represented wedding presents received by his wife in 1937 and that some of the coins belonged to his sister as well. he gave some explanation with regard to the radio set which, according to him, had been purchased in 1957. the transistor set, he claimed, had been purchased from an unknown person on the previous day.2. the explanation was accepted in so far as the gold coins were concerned. the collector of central excise, the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

K. Srinivasan, J.

1. The shop and the residence of the petitioner were searched by the Customs Preventive staff on 22nd August, 1959. The search of the shop yielded nothing. From the house twenty old gold coins and two radio sets, one of which was a transistor set, were seized. In the view that the gold coins were of foreign origin, as also the radios, action under the Sea Customs Act was taken. The explanation of the petitioner was that these gold coins represented wedding presents received by his wife in 1937 and that some of the coins belonged to his sister as well. He gave some explanation with regard to the radio set which, according to him, had been purchased in 1957. The transistor set, he claimed, had been purchased from an unknown person on the previous day.

2. The explanation was accepted in so far as the gold coins were concerned. The Collector of Central Excise, the adjudicating authority, observed in this regard:

I feel that in the absence of any evidence to substantiate the illicit nature, it would pot be fair or proper to treat them as contraband.

In sharp contradistinction to this view with regard to gold coins, the Collector observed about the radio sets thus--

The transaction with regard to the radios does not appear to be straight. They are therefore liable for confiscation under Section 167(8) of the Sea Customs Act....

The result was that the two raidos were directed to be confiscated, with the petitioner being given an option to pay a redemption penalty of Rs. 100. A personal penalty of Rs. 100 was also imposed on the petitioner under Section 167(8) of the Sea Customs Act as a person concerned in the offence of illegal import.

3. It is obvious that the order cannot be supported. The Collector derives jurisdiction to make any order under Section 167(8) of the Sea Customs Act only if he can record a finding on the material that is properly before him that the goods are goods which have been imported into the country in violation of any prohibition or restriction regarding their import. Except for the fact that the Collector felt disinclined to believe the manner in which petitioner claimed to have come into possession of these radios, he has stated nothing in the order to show that there was any material upon which the conclusion can be drawn that these radios had been illegally imported into the country. Merely to say that the transaction with regard to the radios is not straight does not invite the conclusion necessary to invoke the penal provision contained in Section 167(8). On this short ground, namely, that there is no adjudication upon the question vital to acquire jurisdiction to deal with the matter under Section 167(8) the order has to be quashed. There will be no order as to costs.


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