2023 (1) TMI 1000 - HC - Customs
Seeking quashment of proceedings against Managing Director of the Company, one of the vendors of RFID e-seals - Tampered e-seals - it is alleged that the e-seals supplied by the Company were passing customs clearances even when it was not in a locked condition - liability of Managing Director of the Company in the alleged offence - HELD THAT:- The Company was in-charge of manufacture of RFID e-seals and tampering alert was in the control of the Company in which the 2nd petitioner is the Director. It becomes germane to notice the Circulars issued by Government of India in the Department of Revenue of the Central Board of Excise and Customs with regard to the export procedure and sealing of containerized cargo from time to time.
The communication was clear that the DRI has critically examined RFID e-seals supplied by M/s Leghorn Group, Italy and they have been found to be compromising in security requirements and was a serious issue and therefore, stopped all seals made by M/s Leghorn Group. Later, the crime come to be registered and a search is made in the office of the Company and at the time the seals are seized and were sent to their examination where it was found that since March 2018 the testing commenced and approximately 832 seals of the Company were faulty. The tamper status of the seals was covered up as the tamper alarm had been switched off.
The petitioners are alleged of compromising security of the container which contains what ought to be known to the Department, if not known and would passes muster, even if it is a narcotic drug, the menace of the threat looms large in that sector or that facet. Therefore, finding no merit in the contention that nothing has happened for the last 3 years and a co-ordinate Bench obliterating the proceedings against accused No.3 are of no assistance to the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners. The issue in the lis is shrouded with admissions and certain seriously disputed questions of fact, which will have to be thrashed out only in a full blown proceeding. It is rather surprising as to why the DRI has not proceeded further and filed its final report is a serious matter of the kind. It is for the DRI to conclude the investigation, if not already concluded and take the proceeding to its logical end.
Reference being made to the judgment of the Apex Court in the case of KAPTAN SINGH VERSUS THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH AND OTHERS [2021 (9) TMI 61 - SUPREME COURT] where it was held that the High Court has grossly erred in quashing the criminal proceedings by entering into the merits of the allegations as if the High Court was exercising the appellate jurisdiction and/or conducting the trial. The High Court has exceeded its jurisdiction in quashing the criminal proceedings in exercise of powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
There are no merit to interfere or interdict the investigation, against the petitioners, as any interference would amount to putting a premium on the acts of the petitioners, for having compromised the security of the nation, which act sans countenance.