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Understanding "seizure" with respect to jurisdiction under the Customs Act, 1962.


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Dated: 1-6-2022

2022 (5) TMI 1370 - CESTAT NEW DELHI

Understanding "seizure" with respect to jurisdiction under the Customs Act, 1962.

The whole case of the Revenue is made out on the allegation that the Appellant had arrived from Dubai at the Ahmedabad Airport, which is the Customs Station. Thus, for the allegations contained in the show cause notice, particularly, there being violation of the baggage rules, the jurisdiction in the matter was with the Customs Commissionerate at Ahmedabad. 

In the circumstances, it is found that whole proceedings by the Customs (Preventive) at Jaipur is wholly without jurisdiction.The Appellant was intercepted by the Police at Ajmer who are not the customs officers.

The burden or onus to establish the smuggled nature of goods/gold is on the revenue which have not been discharged. This is a case of town seizure.

The proceedings are ab initio void, being wholly out of jurisdiction. The impugned order was set aside and appeal allowed. 

The Customs Authority being directed to return the seized/confiscated goods to the Appellant, within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order by the Appellant or by his authorised representative. 

Where the initial interception and seizure was by police and thereafter the possession was shifted to the Customs officers, the pre-requisite of seizure is not satisfied. The whole burden or onus to establish the smuggled nature of goods/gold is on the Revenue which has not been discharged. It being a case of town seizure. 

In this matter held that the proceedings were ab initio void and wholly without jurisdiction. Customs Authority/its authorised representative being directed to return the seized/confiscated goods within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of copy of the order to the appellant or his authorised representative.

Thus any confiscation of goods without jurisdiction is treated as a "town seizure" or a violation of baggage rules and to become a "seizure" proper it should be conducted by authorities within jurisdiction.

 


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2022 (5) TMI 1370 - CESTAT NEW DELHI

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