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2017 (8) TMI 684

Head Note:
Import of gold and diamond jewellery items - Baggage Rules - passing through the Green Channel - Smuggling - Whether the items are personal effects and no duty is leviable on the same - whether in the present facts and circumstances of the case, the show-cause notice dated 12.12.2002 and order dated 14.08.2003 are liable to be quashed or not? - Held that: - the respondent herein did not violate the provisions of Section 77 of the Act since the necessary declaration was made by the respondent while passing through the Green Channel. Such declarations are deemed to be implicit and devised with a view to facilitate expeditious and smooth clearance of the passenger. Further, as per the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Kyoto 18.05.1973), a passenger going through the green channel is itself a declaration that he has no dutiable or prohibited articles.

A harmonious reading of Rule 7 of the Baggage Rules, 1998 read with Appendix E (2), the respondent was not carrying any dutiable goods because the goods were the bona fide jewellery of the respondent for her personal use and was intended to be taken out of India. Also, with regard to the proximity of purchase of jewellery, all the jewellery was not purchased a few days before the departure of the respondent from UK, a large number of items had been in use for a long period. It did not make any difference whether the jewellery is new or used. There is also no relevance of the argument that since all the jewellery is to be taken out of India, it was, therefore, deliberately brought to India for taking it to Singapore. Foreign tourists are allowed to bring into India jewellery even of substantial value provided it is meant to be taken out of India with them and it is a pre-requisite at the time of making endorsements on the passport. Therefore, bringing jewellery into India for taking it out with the passenger is permissible and is not liable to any import duty.

Also, from the present facts and circumstances of the case, it cannot be inferred that the jewellery was meant for import into India on the basis of return ticket which was found to be in the possession of the respondent. Moreover, we cannot ignore the contention of the respondent that her parents at the relevant time were in Indonesia and she had plans of proceeding to Indonesia. Some of the jewellery items purchased by the respondent were for her personal use and some were intended to be left with her parents in Indonesia.

In the absence of any facts on record about the nature and mode of concealment and also any finding of the lower authority that jewellery was kept in a way to evade detection on examination of the baggage, it has to be held that there was no concealment as such. It is seen that the respondent chose the Green Channel for clearance of her baggage. She committed no violation of law or infraction of any instruction for clearance of the baggage through the green channel as she being a tourist had no dutiable goods to declare under the Baggage Rules - appeal dismissed - decided against appellant-Revenue.

 


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