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2015 (11) TMI 381 - CESTAT KOLKATA

2015 (11) TMI 381 - CESTAT KOLKATA - 2016 (335) E.L.T. 562 (Tri. - Kolkata) - Confiscation of goods - transportation of smuggled goods - Improper documents - Whether appellants had prior knowledge of the Smuggled nature of the seized garlic of Chinese origin - Imposition of redemption fine - Held that:- Appellants have denied to have prior knowledge of the smuggled nature of seized garlic of Chinese origin. For confiscation of vehicle knowledge of the owner of the vehicle or the person in charge .....

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g irregular regarding confiscation of said vehicles & their release on payment of redemption fine. No interference is therefore called for regarding confiscation / redemption of vehicles order passed by the Adjudicating authority. - Correct residential details of the drivers were not maintained by the owners when they were giving vehicles valued more than ₹ 10 lakh to the drivers. No registration papers or driving license copies were found in the vehicles. For more than six months from .....

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95/13 - ORDER NO.FO/A/75590-75593/15 - Dated:- 18-9-2015 - Shri H.K.Thakur, Technical Member For the Petitioner : Shri N.K. Chowdhury, Advocate For the Respondent : Shri S.P.Pal, Appraiser (AR) ORDER Per Shri H.K.Thakur These appeals have been filed by the appellants against OIO No. 01-CUS/CC/MUZ/DENovo/2013 dt. 17/05/2013 passed by Commissioner customs (prev) and issued on 28/05/2013. Under this OIO dt 17/05/2013 Adjudicating Authority confiscated trucks of the appellants and gave the owners op .....

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marhi side at 07.15 AM. After getting signal driver of the truck stopped the vehicle but fled from the site. Thereafter three more trucks. Were also stopped by the officers but they also fled away taking the benefit of heavy traffic. That all the four trucks, bearing registration No. BR-52-6079, BR-1GA-2573 HR- 38K6374 & that BR-1GA 1298 were found to be loaded with garlic. That on checking in the presence of independent witness all the four truck were found to contain Chinese garlic bearing .....

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nd all the four vehicles were also seized. 2.1 That summons were issued to the persons whose names were mentioned in the manifest / Invoices accompanying the consignments but these persons were found to be either not existing or could not be located. One person Sh. Rakesh Tiwari of Sitamarhi was also apprehended & arrested but only on subsequent interrogation he also refused to claim the seized goods & the trucks. Investigations were also extended to several District Transport officers f .....

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ion. That the entire quantity of 52700 Kgs of seized garlic was destroyed on the bank of River. Buddi, Gandak at Sikandarpur, MuZaffarpur. 2.3. That after the issue of first show cause notice on 24/08/2009, the identity of the real owners of the truck established on the basis of reporters from District Transport officers to whom letters were issued by the investigation. That statements of all the four truck owners/Authorized person were recorded, during which they disowned the garlic of Chinese .....

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d trucks was also given. That all the four appellants herein filed appeals before this bench and this bench vides order No. A-892-895/Kol/2012 dt 05/10/2012 issued on 04/01/13, remanded the case to the Adjudicating authority to decide the case afresh after giving a copy of show cause notice dt 24/08/2009 to the appellants. That in the remand proceedings after observing the principles of natural justice, Adjudicating authority passed OIO No. 01/CUS/CC/MUZ/DENovo/2013 dt 17/05/2013 confiscating th .....

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hout the knowledge of the owners, have undertaken an illegal activity for which the owners can not be held responsible. It was his case that the details of addresses available with the appellants were intimated to the investigation. Learned Advocate relied upon the following important case laws to argue that vehicles can not be confiscated & penalties can not be imposed upon his clients as they had no knowledge of the activities undertaken by their drivers:- (i) Manjeet Singh VS CC New Delhi .....

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i) CC Lucknow Vs Balwinder Singh [2010(255) ELT 514(All.)] (ix) CC (P) W,B, Calcutta Vs Durgarmal Mohata [2006(200)ELT 522 (Cal)] (x) CC (P) West Bengal Vs Omprakash & others [2010 (01) LCX 0050] 2.6. Learned Advocate argued that the provision of penalties imposed is not specifically mentioned in the show cause notice for this he relied upon the following. (i) CCE Madurai VS Ferrer India Ltd [204 (313) ELT 3(Mad.)] (ii) Noble Moulds Pvt Ltd Vs CCE [2010 (259) ELT 338 (Del.)] 3. Sh. S.P Pal, .....

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ad implied knowledge of the Smuggled nature of seized goods. It was thus his case that confiscation of vehicles their redemption and imposition of penalties have been correctly made by the Adjudicating authority. Learned AR also argued that charges of imposition of penalties under Sec 112 of the Customs Act 1962 upon the appellants notices was specifically made under corrigendum dt 16/4/2010 issued to the appellants under C No. viii (10) 413- CUS /Seiz/Muz/ 08-09-073-79. That the ingredients of .....

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out their knowledge and that their trucks can not be confiscated under Sec-115 and no penalty can be imposed upon them under Sec-112 of the Customs Act 1962. On the other hand case of the Revenue is that circumstantial evidences suggest the knowledge of the owners of the drivers as such an activity can not be dared by the drivers of their own. It is observed from the case records that appellants have denied to have prior knowledge of the smuggled nature of seized garlic of Chinese origin. For co .....

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the person in charge of the conveyance or animal. [Emphasis supplied] 4.1. It is observed from the case records that use of vehicles for transporting garlic of Chinese origin is established for which no claimant has come forward and even the drivers also had no document of licit import of the seized garlic. Drivers of the vehicles definitely had knowledge of the contraband and smuggled nature of garlic. That is why the drivers ran away and never came forward during investigation. There is thus n .....

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