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2016 (7) TMI 648

Head Note:
Import of baggage without declaring the goods - 13300 nos. micro SD cards of 2 GB capacity used in mobile phone. - two bottles of Glenmorangi Signet Single Malt Scotch whisky 70 CL (700 ml) were also recovered - Government.notes that the statement of Shri Darshan Lal recorded under Section 108 of the Customs Act, 1962 is a corroborative evidence that the respondent is associated in a case of smuggling activity with the accused as much as calls had been made by him to the pax at the time coinciding with the smuggling event. Government finds that the Commissioner (Appeals) has basically relied only on the lack of evidence without taking into consideration the statement of Shri Darshan Lal, the main accused and ignoring that statement recorded under Section 108 before a Customs Officer has evidentiary value and is binding. Moreover, the statements have not been retracted at any stage.

Government thus notes that the plea of the department that there is enough evidence to establish Shri Raj Kumar Sabharwal has willingly colluded with Shri Darshan Lal in abetting and facilitating the smuggling of the impugned goods, has force. Considering the gravity of the offence and value of the smuggled goods the Commissioner (Appeals) has erred in reducing the quantum of penalty upon the respondent from ₹ 2,00,000 /- to ₹ 19,000/- only.


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