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2023 (6) TMI 1162 - CESTAT KOLKATA
Absolute Confiscation - gold biscuits - wallets - Owner of biscuits - Corroboration of statements or not - levy of penalty - HELD THAT:- There is no dispute that the gold biscuits were seized from the Appellants when they were being screened at Imphal Airport. If the Appellants have bought the gold through licit channel, they would have carried the Invoice copy towards the same, particularly taking into account that the value of gold was for Rs.15.7 Lakhs. While they were not in a position to show any document for purchasing these gold biscuits in India, in the Recorded statement, the Appellants have stated that they have travelled to Myanmar and bought the biscuits by way of cash payment. The recorded statements have not been retracted by them at any stage. The Test Report issue by Assam Hallmarking Centre dated 15 March 2019 also states that the golds were of 24 Carat with fineness of 998.4 to 998.5 purity.
If all these facts are viewed together, it is clear that the gold biscuits are of foreign origin only. In the absence of any plausible evidence brought in by the Appellant to the contrary, it gets established that the gold biscuits were of foreign origin and the Department was correct in absolutely confiscating the gold. Admittedly the Recorded statements did not specify that the same were being recorded in terms of Section 108 of Customs Act, 1962. However, the Appellants are required to support their claim by way of proper Invoices in the first place. They were not in a position to prove the same. Therefore, even the error pointed out about the Recorded Statement cannot come to the rescue of the Appellants.
Confiscation of gold biscuits and wallets are upheld - Considering the value of gold biscuits, penalty imposed on Shri Antony Philip is reduced to 1,00,000/- - Considering the fact that both the Appellants have admitted that the owner of the gold biscuits is Shri Antony Philip and taking the view that Shri Jochan Michael has acted as a carrier, the Penalty on him stands reduced to 25,000/-.