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Examining the legality of confiscation of an Imported car.


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Dated: 2-6-2022

2022 (6) TMI 59 - CESTAT MUMBAI

Examining the legality of confiscation of an Imported car.

Violation of policy conditions - import of used car - prohibited or restricted goods or not - rejection of declared value - redetermination of assessable value - whether the imported car is liable for absolute confiscation or should be allowed the option for redemption? - Levy of penalty is it justified?

Section 125 of the Customs Act, 1962 states of an option to pay fine in lieu of confiscation.

In present case the declared value has been rejected and the value of the car imported has been enhanced based on the findings recorded by the Chartered Engineer without application of mind by the adjudicating authority.

The declared value could be rejected only if the importer fails to furnish any documents evidencing the actual transaction value. It is surprising that the Revenue has placed reliance on the chartered engineer report when the Revenue is also not disputing the fact that the car was a used car and hence contents of the report of the chartered engineer is highly imaginary and lacks credence which has to be ignored.

Chartered Engineer certificate can be a ground for rejection of the declared value and enhancement of the same, but the same needs to be considered along with the submissions made by the Appellant by the adjudicating authority.

The order of adjudicating authority should be based on proper appreciation of all the facts and submissions. Hence for this purpose the matter needs to be remanded back to the adjudicating authority for redetermination of the value of the imported goods.

The car which was imported, the importation of the same was not prohibited.

It is not the case of the revenue that there was any prohibition in so far as the importation of the car was concerned at any point of time and admittedly, the only violation, if at all, was the non-usage of the said car for a period of one year abroad, before importation. That ipso facto cannot make the car liable for absolute confiscation - the appellant admits that there is certain violation of the policy restrictions for which the car should have been confiscated but allowed for redemption against a redemption fine in terms of Section 125 of the Customs Act, 1962.

This needs to be examined by the concerned adjudicating authority and as far as possible the importer should be given the option to redeem.

Since the matter is remanded back to the original authority, it should re-determine the liability to penalty and quantum of penalty in remand proceedings.

The Customs Act, 1962 aids the importer of goods against the arbitrariness of the Customs Authorities by providing for an option to pay fine in order to save the goods from being confiscated.

Thus the owner of the goods shall not pay a fine exceeding the market price of the goods confiscated less the duty chargeable thereon. However the importer of goods may be made liable for certain additional charges for storage/transportation/third party charges.

 


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2022 (6) TMI 59 - CESTAT MUMBAI

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