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M/s. Johnson Watch Company Pvt. Ltd. Versus Directorate of Revenue Intelligence

Seizure of goods - promissory estoppel - the learned Single Judge dismissed the writ petition by observing that the respondent was entitled to verify the authenticity of the documents submitted by the appellant and on the basis of which the seizure / detention order was vacated; that thus the endeavour of the respondent to verify the documents provided by the appellant cannot be interdicted and rejecting the contention that the respondent is estopped from verifying the documents.

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iting the response, the doubts entertained have necessarily to be stated. - Though the senior counsel for the appellant at the beginning of the hearing had also handed over written submissions and insisted on reading the same but in view of having confined the appeal to the aforesaid contention only, need is not felt to refer thereto. We may also record that the counsel for the respondent in his counter affidavit supported by copies of the judgments handed over in the Court today has sought to a .....

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e Respondent : Mr S K Dubey With Mr Rajmangal Kumar, Ms Sushma Yadav And Mr Vikram Singh, Advs. ORDER Rajiv Sahai Endlaw,J. 1. On 2nd February, 2015 when this appeal had first come up before us, the following order was passed:- "LPA No.52/2015 & CM No.1832 & CM No.1834/2015 (stay) & (addl. documents). 1. This intra-court appeal impugns the order dated 24th December, 2014 of the learned Single Judge of this Court of dismissal of W.P.(C) No.9222/2014 filed by the appellant. 2. Goo .....

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ted 15th November, 2014 and 21st November, 2014 of the respondent asking the appellant to appear before the respondent. The respondent claims to have so summoned the appellant in exercise of powers under Section 108 of the Customs Act. 4. It is the admitted position that the appellant is being so summoned since January, 2014 and has appeared before the respondent on a number of occasions. 5. The appellant filed the writ petition from which this appeal arises invoking the principle of waiver and .....

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etention order was vacated; that thus the endeavour of the respondent to verify the documents provided by the appellant cannot be interdicted and rejecting the contention that the respondent is estopped from verifying the documents. 7. The senior counsel for the appellant, before us also has pegged his case only on the plea of promissory estoppel. 8. The said plea is clearly misconceived as held by the learned Single Judge also. Once it is found that the seizure of the documents was in exercise .....

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y this aspect. 9. However after passover, the senior counsel for the appellant again took up the plea of estoppel contending that the order vacating the order of detention / seizure is an executive order. 10. We are unable to agree. We as such asked the counsel for the respondent appearing on advance notice to take us through the scheme of the Act. 11. Our attention has been invited to Section 110(2) which provides that if no notice under Section 124(a) in respect of the goods so seized is given .....

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led to impose penalty. On our enquiry, whether any time limit is provided for issuing any notice of imposing penalty, the counsel for the respondent states that no such time limit has been provided and refers to Jeevraj Vs. Collector of Customs (1997) 8 SCC 519 laying down that Section 124 does not lay down any period within which notice is required to be given. 12. We are however not convinced. Section 125 provides for payment of fine in lieu of confiscation. It prima facie appears that once th .....

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otice is accepted by the counsel for the respondent. Since the writ petition was dismissed in limine, the respondent had no opportunity to submit a counter affidavit. The same be filed within two weeks, particularly addressing the aforesaid question. Rejoinder if any within one week thereafter. 15. Renotify on 4th March, 2015." 2. The respondent has thereafter filed a counter affidavit and to which a rejoinder has been filed by the appellant. 3. However when the hearing on the appeal commen .....

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that though the detention on 29th October, 2012, 30th October, 2012 and 31st October, 2012 of the goods of the appellant, was seizure thereof within the meaning of Section 110 of the Customs Act but the said order of seizure was revoked by the Customs Authorities themselves on 6th November, 2012, 9th November, 2012 and 20th November, 2012. When we enquired from the senior counsel, the provision which permits revocation of an order under Section 110, though the senior counsel could not show any p .....

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ed to act quasi judicially. 5. Faced therewith the senior counsel for the appellant stated that the only point he is urging in this appeal is that the notice dated 21st November, 2014 issued to the appellant under Section 108 of the Customs Act contains a finding against the appellant and which is not permissible in law in a show cause notice. 6. Though we doubt very much that the said contention arises from the pleadings in the writ petition or the memorandum of appeal but the appeal having bee .....

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on is invited towards the undertaking dated 21.11.2014 in response to summons dated 15.11.2014 wherein it was undertaken to depute your authorized representative for verification of the documents submitted by you at the time of vacation of detention of watches. In furtherance to above please find enclosed herewith list of watches wherein the documents submitted by you does not carry mention of serial numbers of watches and watches where either model nos. or serial nos. did not match with the doc .....

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