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Grant of reward to informers and Government Servants - Review of Policy, Procedure and issue of revised Guidelines - regarding

Customs - 20/2015 - Dated:- 31-7-2015 - GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF FINANCE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE CENTRAL BOARD OF EXCISE AND CUSTOMS (ANTI-SMUGGLING UNIT) NEW DELHI CIRCULAR NO 20/2015-Cus. Dated: July 31, 2015 To 1. All Chief Commissioners of Customs/Customs (Preventive) 2. All Chief Commissioners of Central Excise 3. All Chief Commissioners of Customs, Central Excise And Service Tax 4. All Chief Commissioners of Large Tax Payers Unit 5. Director General, DRI/DGCEI/Vigilance/Inspection/Aud .....

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r No. R-13011/6/2001-Cus (AS) dated 20th June, 2001, clarified vide letter No. R13011/06/2001-CUS (AS) dated 23-08-2002 and amended vide letter dated 16th April, 2004 are hereby revised. This revision takes into account cases of seizures made/ infringement or evasion of duty etc. and the recommendations made by the Committee set up to review the Reward Schemes in the Department of Revenue and various suggestions received from the field formations. 2. It has been decided with the approval of Hon& .....

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d the revised ceilings shall be applicable, even if the proposal pertaining to a case, detected before this date, and final reward is not yet granted. 3. Please acknowledge receipt of this letter. No. 13011/001/2013-Cus (AS) (A C MALLICK) Under Secretary (AS) GUIDELINES FOR GRANT OF REWARD TO INFORMERS AND GOVERNMENT SERVANTS, 2015 1. Short title:- These guidelines may be called as "The Guidelines for grant of Reward to informers and Government Servants, 2015". 2. Commencement, applica .....

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visions relating to Service Tax. These guidelines will also be applicable for grant of rewards in respect of cases of detection of Drawback frauds or abuses of duty exemption schemes under various Export Promotion Schemes announced by the Government from time to time, unearthed on the basis of specific prior information provided by the informer or prior intelligence developed by the Government Servants. 2.2 Besides. Part II of these guidelines would be applicable to grant of reward to informers .....

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departmental officers in cases which have not been processed till date of issue of these guidelines and apply to all future cases of reward. The proposal where final reward has been sanctioned before the date of this guideline shall not be re-opened. However, in cases where only advance reward has been recommended by the Committee on or before the date of issue of these guidelines whether the advance reward has already been disbursed or pending disbursement, the new guidelines would be applicabl .....

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gibility of a case for reward is prescribed in the relevant paragraphs. 2.4 All previous guidelines issued on the subject may be deemed to be modified and revised to the extent indicated in the succeeding Para. The guidelines procedure contained in the previous orders/instructions issued by the Ministry, in so far as they are not inconsistent with the present/revised guidelines shall, however, remain in force. 2.5 Any reference in these guidelines to the post of Chief Commissioner/ Director Gene .....

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an ex-gratia payment which, subject to guidelines, may be granted based on the judgment of the authority competent to gram rewards and taking into account facts and circumstances of each case and cannot be claimed by anyone as a matter of right. 3.2 Reward should not be sanctioned for routine and normal nature of work. 3.3 Criteria for grant of reward: - In determining the reward which may be granted, the authority competent to grant reward will keep in mind the following:- 3.3.1 In cases of col .....

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uring the information, the extent to which the vigilance of the staff led to the seizure, detection of infringements/evasion of duty/service tax special initiative, efforts and skills/ ingenuity displayed leading to the recover) of Government dues during the course of investigation admitting their liability by way of voluntary deposit and whether, besides the seizure of contraband goods /detection of infringements/evasion of duty/service tax, the owners/organizers/ financiers/racketeers as well .....

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ficer in in-depth investigation and collection of evidence for establishing the various infringements of law, unearthing and working out duty/tax involved etc. 3.3.3 In cases of post investigation work:- Defending the case in CESTAT, High Court/Supreme Court/Settlement Commission, resulting in confirmation of Duty/service tax evaded / infringement of Law established/settlement of the case, the criteria given in respective Para will apply. 3.3.4 In cases of Audit/Special Audit in Central Excise a .....

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death of the informer/Government Servant, the authority competent to grant rewards may grant reward to legal heirs or nominees of an informant/Government Servant of an amount not exceeding the amount that would have been payable to the informant /Government Servant had he/she not died. The earlier instructions issued vide F. No. 13/21167-Ad-V dated 17.10.1968 on payment of rewards in Customs Seizure cases etc. to the persons who have died, retired and resigned or were discharged, removed or dism .....

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2 Ordinarily, Government Servants up to the level of Group 'A' officers of the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise and Service Tax, will be eligible for reward depending on the contribution made by them as a team as well as in their individual capacity with regard to collection of intelligence, surveillance, effecting of seizure/detection of duty evasion and post-seizure investigation. 4.3 Government Servants of the rank of Joint Commissioner/Additional Commission .....

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oast Guard, etc. may also be considered for sanction of reward in respect of cases of seizures of contraband goods affected by these agencies under the provisions of Customs Act, 1962/ Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and subsequently booked / investigated by the formations and agencies under CBEC. However, only such officers of these Departments/Agencies who hold rank equivalent to the Additional Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise or lower rank, will be considered .....

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e posted in adjudication. COFEPOSA, legal or Prosecution Cells of the Commissionerate/Custom House will be considered for grant of lump-sum payment of reward, not exceeding ₹ 50,000/- in each case, depending upon the role played by them. Further exceptional work demonstrated in finalising adjudication in various COFEPOSA. Legal or other proceedings resulting in favourable decisions like confiscation of seized goods, confirmation of duties demanded and/or imposition of penalties, detention/ .....

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d to a maximum of ₹ 50,000/- for the officers of the rank upto Deputy Commissioner and not exceeding ₹ 25,000- for the officers of the rank of Joint/ Addl. Commissioner. 4.6.1 The revised limits of reward prescribed above in para 4.6 for officers engaged in audit special audit/ post clearance audit conducted by departmental officers shall apply to all cases for which MCM (Monitoring Committee Meeting) is held after the date of issue of these revised guidelines. 4.7 The Authorised Rep .....

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he opposite party was represented by a senior Advocate or eminent lawyer and where the Government would have lost the case but for the painstaking efforts and effective pleading by the Authorised Representative. Reward in such cases shall be paid to ARs only after the case has attained finality i.e. no further appeals are pending in the case. 4.7.1 Reward would not be granted for cases, even high value cases, which are settled in terms of settled High Court or Supreme Court decisions. 4.7.2 Thes .....

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line and penalty levied/imposed and recovered. 5.1.2 In respect of cases of detection of Drawback frauds or abuse of duty exemption schemes under various Export Promotion Schemes announced by the Government from time to time unearthed on the basis of specific prior information, provided by the informer or prior intelligence developed by the Government Servants, the informers and Government Servants will be eligible for reward upto 20% of recovery of drawback claimed fraudulently and/or recovery .....

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respect of Gold and Silver seized under the provisions of Customs Act, 1962 and in cases of detection of import of gold / silver in contravention of provisions of Customs Act, 1962 the overall ceiling of reward will be as per specific rates indicated in Annexure A-3. These ceilings would be subject to periodical revision in the light of the price fluctuations of these items, for which periodical intimations may be sent to the DRI/NCB, who, in turn, will send suitable recommendations to the Minis .....

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, Opium, Narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and synthetic drugs etc., the reward may be limited to half of the maximum rewards indicated in Annexure A-1 and Annexure A-2 and Annexure A-3. Reward in excess of this limit but not exceeding 20% of the value may be considered only in cases where the Government Servant has exposed himself/herself to a great personal hazard or displayed exemplary courage, commendable initiative or resourcefulness of an extraordinary nature or where his/her persona .....

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tee to any Government Servant(s) due to receipt of overall limit of ₹ 10 lakh and ₹ 15 lakh reward by the said Government Servant(s), as was applicable during the recommendation by the reward sanctioning committee, the new guidelines will be applicable while processing for final reward. The structure for consideration of reward in a single case is tabulated as under:- Value of seized goods/ amount of duty evaded etc. Ceiling of reward to Departmental Officers except Joint/ Addl. Comm .....

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of reward to private persons (engaged in office for help in office work relating to intelligence/investigation and post investigation work) earlier fixed at ₹ 1000/- vide reward instructions dated 03.12.1980 shall now be ₹ 2,500/ in each case. 6. PAYMENT OF ADVANCE / INTERIM REWARD:- 6.1 Advance/Interim reward may be paid to informers and Government Servants upto 50% of the total admissible reward immediately on seizure in respect of the following categories of goods, namely :- a) go .....

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tained in appeal/revision proceedings. However, in case of seizure of perishable goods including chemicals, cigarettes etc. under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962, advance reward may be paid to the Government Servants only after disposal/pre-trial disposal of the seized perishable goods including chemicals, cigarettes etc. 6.3 In all other cases, including Customs appraising cases, cases of town-seizures and Central Excise duty evasion / service tax evasion cases, normally, no advance/int .....

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, being established in adjudication and sustained in appeal/revisionary proceedings. In such cases, the Government Servants will become eligible for payment of advance/interim reward only after adjudication of Show-Cause Notice resulting in confirmation of duty. 6.4 In exceptional cases, the Heads of Department may, having regard to the value of the seizures effected and magnitude of the evasion of duty/infringement detected and special efforts or ingenuity displayed by the officers concerned, s .....

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ies made in the case. Such payment of reward in cases of closure of proceedings shall apply to cases of normal period of limitation as well as extended period of limitation provided the proceedings are closed after recovery as per the law, for example, closure under Section 11A (2) of Central Excise Act, 1944, Sub-section (3) of Section 73 of Finance Act, 1994 and Section 28(2) and Section 28 (6)(i) of the Customs Act, 1962 or by an order of the Settlement Commission. It is further clarified tha .....

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closure of proceedings mentioned at para 6.5. In case of narcotic drug, psychotropic substance and controlled substance, one time final rewards, both to Government Servants as well as informers, should be sanctioned and disbursed only after compliance of provisions under Para 4(1) of the Notification no. GSR 38(E) dated 16th January 2015 issued under Section 52 A of the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and filing of prosecution complaint before the designated Court. The fin .....

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or the amount of drawback fraudulently claimed recovered, or the duty recovered in cases of detection of misuse of duty exemption schemes as the case may be. This will also be subject to instructions in Para 5.3.1 above as regards rewards to Government Servants is concerned. The advance / interim reward sanctioned and disbursed, if any, shall be adjusted against the final reward to be paid to the Government Servants /informers. 7.2 Time limit to sanction final reward: In order to improve disbur .....

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reward to Government Servants and informers which have become ripe for processing shall be held in every quarter. Meeting of reward committee shall also take place at least once in a quarter to consider sanction of rewards. 8. DELEGATION OF POWERS FOR SANCTION/PAYMENT OF REWARD-COMPOSITION OF REWARD COMMITTEE:- 8.1 The monetary limit for sanction of rewards to informers and Government Servants will be as per Annexure-B. 8.2 In multi-jurisdictional cases, only the Chief Commissioner/Commissioner .....

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nal cases, where DGR1, DGCE1, or the Chief Commissioner, as the case may be, is satisfied that the review of the final reward sanctioned by the competent authority is absolutely necessary to redress any grave injustice meted out to the Informer/Government Servant and make a recommendation to the Board to this effect, the Government may review the final reward sanctioned on the specific recommendations of the Board. 9.2 Since reward is an ex-gratia payment, only one representation by the informer .....

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person on his behalf. 10. MECHANISM TO MONITOR THE REWARD SANCTIONED TO THE GOVERNMENT SERVANTS 10.1 To ensure that the Government Servants do not exceed the ceiling of ₹ 20 Lakh of total reward during their career, all rewards sanctioned to the Government Servants should be entered in their Service Book, before the same are disbursed. Detailed instructions issued vide Ministry's letter F.No. 394/46/95-Cus (AS) dated 18th September, 1998, may be scrupulously followed in this regard. 10 .....

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ation of officers and no officer should be allowed to be posted to airports, DRI, DGCE1 or Headquarters Preventive of a Commissionerate /Custom House for more than the prescribed tenure, as per the existing instructions of the Board on the subject. 11. UNDERTAKING BY THE INFORMER 11.1 At the time when an informer furnishes any information or document (s), an undertaking should be taken from the informer that he/she is aware that the extent of the reward depends on the precision of the informatio .....

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reward is an ex-gratia based on best judgment of the authority competent to grant reward and taking into consideration the facts and circumstances of each case. It is also clarified to the informer that the Government is under no obligation to grant/sanction the maximum admissible reward up to 20% of the net sale proceeds of the seized/confiscated goods, (if any) and/or the amount of additional duty / penalty / redemption fine recovered and that the amount of reward to be sanctioned to the info .....

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adequate safeguards, informer may, on his own wish provide following additional information on the information slip/ written information viz. Visible identification marks (two), Height, Date of birth/Age. However, the additional information is not considered as mandatory for grant of reward to informer. No reward shall be withheld for non-furnishing of additional information. PART II SCHEME OF GRANT OF REWARD TO INFORMERS AND GOVERNMENT SERVANTS IN CASES OF RECOVERY FROM TAX DEFAULTERS As alrea .....

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isions of the Customs Act, 1962, the Central Excise Act, 1944 and the Chapter V of Finance Act, 1994 in so far as the said Act contains provisions relating to Service Tax) are recoverable and the information results in recovery of arrears. (ii) The grant of reward shall be considered only in those cases where the Chief Commissioner is satisfied that:- a) All possible efforts have been made by the Departmental officers to trace the defaulter / details of defaulter's property; and b) Informati .....

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ars recovery shall be given out of the total reward available in the informer category as per existing policy. (v) In order to expedite arrears recovery, the jurisdictional Commissioner may, if necessary, invite information from the general public through notices in the print / electronic media in a case where recovery of arrears is pending on account of the fact that the whereabouts / details of assets of the defaulter are not known, and the Chief Commissioner is satisfied that all possible eff .....

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e or cases are being reported under the category of persuasive action to Tax Arrear Recovery (TAR). The reward in such cases can be given up to a maximum of 5% of the amount subject to upper limit of ₹ 50,000/- in each case as applicable in respect of post investigation work. In those cases where the case was originally booked by the officer, reward shall be given out of the total reward available in case for the officer category as per existing policy. Annexure-A-1 Rates of Reward in resp .....

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and its salts 2,40,000/- (20% of present illicit price) 90% or more of anhydrous cocaine 5. Hashish 2,000/- (20% of present illicit price) With THC content of 4% or more 6. Hashish Oil 10,000/- (20% of present illicit price) With THC content of 20% or more 7. Ganja 600/- (20% of present illicit price) Should be commercially acceptable as Ganja 8. Mandrax Tablets 2,000/- (20% of present illicit price) Presence of Methaqualone 9. Amphetamine, its salts and preparations thereof 20,000/- (10% of pre .....

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d/psychotropic substances, etc. seized under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 (Para 5.2 of Reward Guidelines) S. No. Commodity (Controlled/psychotropic substances/synthetic drugs) Rate of maximum reward Prescribed purity 1. Ephedrine, its salts and preparations thereof Rs.280/- per kg 100% 2. Pseudo-ephedrine, its salts and preparations thereof Rs.480/- per kg 100% 3. Acetic Anhydride ₹ 10/- per litre 100% 4. Ketamine, its salts and preparations thereof ₹ 7 .....

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xyphene, its salts and preparations thereof ₹ 2880/- per kg 100% 13. Fortwin and its preparations ₹ 1.044/- per vial of 30mg 100% N.B: Rewards shall be reduced prorata if the purity is less than the one prescribed above Annexure-A-3 Rates of Reward in respect of seizure of Gold / Silver in contravention of provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 (Para 5.2 of Reward Guidelines) Sl. No. Commodity Rate of maximum reward Prescribed purity 1 Gold ₹ 1500/- per 10 grams 999% 2 Silver S .....

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d articles thereof are seized, and in cases of detection of import of gold / silver in contravention of provisions of customs Act, 1962 (where after issuance of SCN / completion of adjudication proceedings, an option to redeem goods is excercised), then quantum of reward shall be calculated as per the actual realization of duty, fine and penalty as applicable to similar such detection in terms of the reward rules. (iii) In case of absolute confiscation of gold and silver jewellery, the quantum a .....

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Jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise /ADG DRI/ADG DGCEI, ii. One of jurisdictional Addl. Comm./Senior most Jt. Commissioner/Director of the Commissionerate or/DRI/DGCEI and iii. An outside Addl/Jt. Commissioner or Addl/ Jt. Director of DRI/DGCEI nominated by jurisdictional Commissioner/ADG Note: Addl. Commissioner/ Joint Commissioner of the Commissionerate or/DRI/DGCEI being considered for reward shall not be member of the reward committee. Above ₹ 25 Lakhs & upt .....

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er/Jt. Commissioner/Addl. /Jt. Director of Customs & Central Ex./DRI/DGECI where the reward proposed is upto the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax. Above ₹ 15,000 & upto ₹ 30,000 Jurisdictional Head of Department i.e. Commissioner of Customs. & C Ex. ADG DRI/ADG DGCEI Above ₹ 30,000 & upto ₹ 1 Lakh A Committee consisting of i. Jurisdictional Commissioner of Cus. & C.Ex./ADG DRI/ADG DGCEI. ii. One of jurisdictional .....

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dvance reward to informer as well as Government Servants may be decided by the reward sanctioning authority upto the respective monetary limit even if the total entitlement of reward exceeds the said monetary limit. In such cases, the final reward to the informer and Government Servants shall be decided by the appropriate reward sanctioning authority based on entitlement of reward. (ii) In case, the jurisdictional Additional Commissioner/Joint Commissioner/Additional Director/Joint Director is c .....

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