2022 (11) TMI 650 - AT - Customs
Seeking provisional release of imported goods seized - dry dates - country of origin - department is of the contention that the packing bags bear the name of some Pakistani Company - whether the goods imported by importer is of Pakistan origin or UAE origin? - HELD THAT:- As per the facts all the bags do not bear the name of Pakistani Company. It is also found that the bags do not bear name of any dates manufacturer Company or dates supplier of Pakistan. All the documents submitted by the appellant show that the goods are of UAE origin. However, the investigations are under process, therefore on the basis of investigation and outcome of the adjudication, it can be finally ascertained that whether the goods imported by the appellant is of Pakistan origin or UAE origin. Therefore, at present considering the stage of investigation only a prima facie view can be drawn.
Since the goods have been provisionally released. The dispute of ownership of the goods is no longer subject matter in the present case. Moreover, there is no dispute that Ms. Bharti is the proprietor of M/s. K L International and the department also issued summons to her, a criminal case was also filed in the court of law against her. Therefore, at this stage, the issue of identity cannot be said to be in dispute.
Section 110A of the Customs Act, 1962 provides for provisional release of goods, documents and things seized pending adjudication. Any goods, documents or things seized under Section 110 of the Act, may, pending the order of the adjudicating officer, be released to the owner on taking a bond from him in the proper form with such security and conditions as the Commissioner of Customs may require - Discretion is cast upon the adjudicating authority for determining the value of the bond to be taken and the security deposit as also the conditions to be imposed while passing an order for provisional release of the goods. The exercise of this discretion has to be fair and reasonable and should not be exercised on irrelevant considerations.
The goods namely dry dates being edible is obviously in the perishable nature. It has been considered consistently by various forums that in case of perishable goods provisional release of the goods should be allowed expeditiously. On this ground also the appellant deserve for leniency as regard the condition for provisional release of the goods.
The ends of justice will be met when provisional release of the goods is allowed on execution of bond for 100% value of seized imported goods with Bank guarantee for an amount of Rs. 1 crore and an payment of duty applicable on the import of dry dates of UAE origin - Appeal allowed.