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2015 (6) TMI 501 - ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT

2015 (6) TMI 501 - ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT - 2015 (322) E.L.T. 57 (All.) - Jurisdiction of Senior Intelligence Officer - Section 110 - Power to stop withdrawal from account of the petitioners because an investigation was being carried out by the office - Held that:- Section 110 A of the Act provides that any goods, documents or things seized under Section 110 may pending order of the Adjudicating Authority be released to the owner on taking a bond from him in the proper form with such security and .....

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ty bond. - Decided in favour of appellant. - Writ - C No. - 17424 of 2015 - Dated:- 7-5-2015 - Hon'ble Dilip Gupta And Hon'ble Vinod Kumar Misra,JJ. For the Petitioner : Kshitij Shailendra For the Respondent : A.S.G.I.,B.K.S. Raghuvanshi,Manish Trivedi,S.C. ORDER M/s M.Z. Handicrafts, a private firm engaged in the activity of manufacturing, export and local supply of Brass Artwares and Abdul Rahman as its proprietor have filed this petition for quashing the order dated 5 June 2014 passed .....

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ed to the office by 18 June 2014. Further relief that has been sought in this petition is that the respondents may forthwith de-freeze the current account of the petitioner and permit the petitioner to operate it. It is stated that summons dated 6 June 2014 was issued to the petitioner under Section 108 of the Act by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, mentioning therein that the attendance of petitioner No. 2 was required for giving evidence and producing the documents mentioned in the sum .....

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nce and producing documents in respect of the enquiry being conducted. It is stated that the petitioners had on 27 August 2014 sent through speed post, the documents mentioned in the summons/notice dated 26 June 2014. An additional reply dated 27 August 2014 was sent. A prayer was made to issue directions to the Bank to allow the operation of the current account as the petitioner was suffering because of the order dated 5 June 2014 for keeping on hold any withdrawal from the account. The petitio .....

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ficer had the jurisdiction to issue such an order under Section 110 of the Act, the order cannot last for a period of more than six months as contemplated under Section 110 (2) of the Act. In support of his submission, learned counsel for the petitioner has placed before the Court a Division Bench Judgement of Allahabad High Court rendered in Raghuram Grah Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Commissioner of C.Ex. & Service Tax, reported in 2005 (186) E.L.T. 50; a Division Bench Judge of Bombay High Court rendered .....

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submitted that the Senior Intelligence Officer in the Department of Revenue Intelligence was justified in issuing directions under Section 110 of the Act and if a direction is issued for permitting the petitioners to operate the Bank Account, the petitioners should be asked to furnish adequate security. Learned Senior Counsel for the respondent has placed before the Court a decision of a learned Judge of the Delhi High Court in Writ-C No. 7449 of 2012 rendered in Ravi Crop Science Vs. Union of .....

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r giving evidence and producing documents in respect of the enquires being conducted by the Senior Intelligence Officer in the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. The petitioners have stated that their representatives had appeared on 26 June 2014 and had also submitted the required documents, though with respect to the summons dated 26 June 2014 a request had been made to fix another date because of Ramzan. The dispute in this Writ Petition is regarding the communication dated 5 June 2014 issue .....

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ct is contained in Chapter 13 which deals with searches, seizure and arrest. It is submitted by learned counsel for the petitioners that Bank accounts will not be covered under Section 110 which deals Seizure of 'goods', 'documents' or 'things'. A Division Bench of the Gujrat High Court in Am Overseas (Supra) had an occasion to examine this controversy. The Division Bench held that the provisions of Section 110 of the Act cannot restrict the petitioner from operating the .....

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e term things' from the Black's Law Dictionary, it would also take within its sweep currency', and in the circumstances, the action of the respondent authorities was required to be upheld. The said submission, though attractive at first blush, does not hold ground when the same is examined in light of the scheme of the Act. One cannot lose sight of the fact that the provision is part and parcel of a statute which deals with import and export of goods. In other words, permitting such .....

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y or is charged with illegally transacting in currency by way of import or export. Therefore, even this provision cannot support the action of respondent authorities. 7. Though Mr. Oza has addressed the Court in relation to various facts narrated in the affidavit in reply, it is not necessary to deal with the same at this stage, for the simple reason that the investigation which is in progress should not be affected by any observation or finding which the Court may record in relation to the fact .....

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Counsel for the respondents has, however, referred paragraph 14 of the counter affidavit and has pointed out the circumstances which compelled the Senior Intelligence Officer in the the Department of Revenue Intelligence to impose the condition in the communication dated 5 June, 2014 sent to the ICICI Bank. The facts which may pursuade the respondents to issue such a direction are not required to be examined and what has to be seen is whether such a power is conferred upon the Senior Intelligenc .....

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