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2009 (8) TMI 682

..... annot be provided at pre-investigation stage. Stand of department not acceptable. Proper officer empowered to seize any documents u/s 110(3) of the Act, 1962 but section 110(4) entitles person concerned to get copies of documents seized. Contention on investigation getting prejudiced fallacious. Copies of documents directed to be provided. - 5902 of 2009 - 25-8-2009 - P.K. Misra, C.J. and Anjana Prakash, J. Shri Suraj Samdarshi, for the Petitioner. Ms. Archana Meenakshi, Sr. SC and Ms. Archana Sinha, Jr. SC, for the Respondent. [Order]. - Heard learned counsel appearing for the parties. 2. In this writ petition the petitioner has prayed for the following reliefs : (i) For quashing of the letter dated 29-4-2009 issued by the respondent No. 4 .....

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..... ized from the petitioner leaving other questions open because in our considered opinion it is not necessary to go into those questions at this stage and the petitioner will have an alternative remedy as and when those questions arise. 4. The basic question which has been highlighted in this writ petition is relating to supply of copies of the documents which had been seized from the petitioner. As a matter of fact, the petitioner itself has posed the following questions of law for consideration : (a) Whether the respondent authorities can deny issuance of Xerox copies of the documents seized in course of inspection dated 25-3-2009. (b) Whether the respondent authorities can deny issuance of Xerox copies of the documents seized, to the detri .....

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..... urt is satisfied that the petitioner s request for providing photo copies of the documents seized should be accepted. If possible, it should be made available by the authorities to the petitioner without any delay, preferably by the next date at the cost of the petitioner, which the petitioner agrees to pay. Put up this case under the same heading on 22nd May, 2009. 6. Thereafter the departmental authorities have filed a counter affidavit and annexed a communication dated 20-5-2009 (Annexure- 1) wherein it is stated that in compliance of the Hon ble High Court, Patna s order dated 11-5-2009 (reproduced above) some of the documents would be made available to the duly authorized persons of the petitioner Company but certain documents which in .....

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..... ,6, 7 and 8 of the search list are incriminating in nature and the same can not be made available to you at the pre-investigation stage, because this may adversely affect the investigation. Necessary submission in this regard is being will be made to the Hon ble High Court Patna through counter affidavit to the Writ Petition No. CWJC N. 5902 of 2009. 7. Learned counsel for the petitioner has invited our attention to Section 110 of the Customs Act, 1962 (hereinafter called the said Act). It is not in dispute that the aforesaid provision of the Customs Act, 1962 is applicable to the Excise Authorities by an appropriate notification issued by the Central Government. Section 110(3) of the said Act contemplates that the proper officer may seize .....

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..... d include documents relating to individuals/HUF/Companies/Firms other than the present petitioner and as such copies thereof can be furnished only if a person duly authorized is deputed for the purpose of obtaining copies thereof. It is further stated therein that Xerox copies of the documents required By the company appearing against Sl. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 of the search list cannot be made available to the person deputed for this purpose at the stage of investigation, being incriminating in nature. 10. We think that in view of the clear and categorical provision made in section 110(4) of the said Act the above stand of the department cannot be accepted since while Section 110(3) of the said Act gives authority to the proper Officer t .....

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