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2023 (9) TMI 198 - CESTAT KOLKATA
Seeking release of seized gold - smuggling - possession acquired licitly of illicitly - Discharge of onus to prove - retraction of statements - HELD THAT:- All the sets of these invoices have been found be false, forged, fictitious, manipulated and hence ab initio void. Invoices recovered/produced at the time of seizure were initially claimed as cover documents for the acquisition of the seized gold. R.K Angangbi Singh, the claimant of the said gold himself had negated these invoices and he produced different set of invoices on 09.09.2014 claiming them as the actual set of documents for the said gold under seizure - It is thus apparent that R.K Angangbi Singh had produced/submitted different sets of invoices in a deliberate attempt to mislead the investigations and as an act of afterthought as well as to justify transportation of smuggled goods and in an attempt to discharge the onus cast upon the under Section 123 of the Act.
It is evident that the description of the purchase invoices in transit challan produced before the Hon’ble High Court, Shillong did not tally with the purchase invoices recovered at the time of seizure. Since, the transit challan records did not match with the recovered purchase invoices it is clear that the transit challan too were fabricated, and presented subsequently, like various other documents and submitted as an afterthought perhaps to even mislead the judiciary; besides being a failed attempt to justify transportation of the smuggled goods.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in case of KI. PAVUNNY VERSUS ASSTT. COLLR. (HQ.) , C. EX. COLLECTORATE, COCHIN [1997 (2) TMI 97 - SUPREME COURT] had held that a mere general corroboration is sufficient and each of the detail was not required to be gone into. It even upheld the validity of the statement, containing wealth of information that was retracted in close proximity of making it and therefore disallowed the said retraction.
Thus, no case is made out by the appellants, calling for interference in the impugned order passed by the Ld. Commissioner. The same is therefore upheld and the appeals filed are dismissed.