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2023 (5) TMI 1072 - HC - Customs
Provisional release of the gold seized from the factory/warehouse - unaccompanied baggage - main contention of the respondent-Review Petitioner is that the quantity of 25299.68 grams gold jewellery was imported as baggage and that the requirement of filing of a B/E, which emanates from Section 46(1) of the Customs Act, in Chapter VII thereof, does not apply to baggage, in view of Section 44 - HELD THAT:- There were positive findings of fact, by the learned Tribunal, that the imported jewellery had been appraised and found to be the same as the jewellery which had earlier been exported - in exercise of the jurisdiction vested in us by Section 130 of the Customs Act, we could not revisit these findings, absent perversity, which we did not find to exist. Save and except for the consignment of 25299.68 grams forming subject matter of the present review petition, the decision of the learned Tribunal is upheld to permit provisional release of the remaining gold and gold jewellery, on furnishing of enhanced B/G.
The finding of the learned Tribunal regarding the identity of the imported gold jewellery with the exported jewellery also extends to the 25299.68 grams gold jewellery forming subject matter of the present review petition. By operation of Notification 45/2017-Cus, therefore, the plaintiff would, prima facie, be entitled to duty free clearance of the imported jewellery.
The only ground on which we had extended differential treatment to the 25299.68 grams gold jewellery, from the remaining gold seized in the warehouse/godown of the review petitioner and at the Airport, was that the B/E relating to the 25299.68 grams gold jewellery was unsigned by the customs authorities. We are convinced, prima facie, apply to the said gold jewellery in the first place. Moreover, the Show Cause Notice issued to the review petitioner, too, acknowledges that the jewellery was imported as baggage. In these circumstances, we are of the considered opinion that the review petitioner is justified in its prayer that the 25299.68 grams gold jewellery be extended the same treatment as has been extended to the remaining gold.
The judgment under review worked out the quantum of the bank guarantee to be furnished at ₹ 10 crores, as 30% of the total value of the gold seized, including the unreleased 25299.68 grams gold jewellery forming subject matter of the present review proceedings. That amount was enhanced by the Supreme Court to ₹ 15 crores - It is not possible, therefore, to direct furnishing of any further bank guarantee, as a condition, for release of 25299.68 grams gold.
Review petition allowed.