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Imran Ahmed Shabbir Ahmed Versus Commissioner of Customs, CSI Airport, Mumbai

2016 (1) TMI 510 - CESTAT MUMBAI

Levy of penalty - Redemption of confiscated currency - Trying to export Indian currency and foreign currency at the Airport - The appellant claimed that the said currency belong to one Shri Sabir and was to be handed over to one Shri Hazi Shaikh at Dubai. The said statement was later retracted and the appellant claimed that the money belonged to him. - Held that:- Larger Bench has given full discretion to the proper officer to allow in respect of redemption fine and imposition of penalty. Each c .....

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im, which are mentioned in para 114 of the impugned order. Further, it is noticed that the appellant had not challenged the confiscation per se. Further it is seen from the adjudication order that the proceedings in respect of Shri Sabir, who had apparently given this cash to the appellant and Shri Hazi Shaikh, who was supposed to receive the money in Dubai are still in abeyance. - Considering the decision of the Larger Bench of the Tribunal and the facts that the appellant is a repeated off .....

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ndian currency and foreign currency at the Airport. The appellant claimed that the said currency belong to one Shri Sabir and was to be handed over to one Shri Hazi Shaikh at Dubai. The said statement was later retracted and the appellant claimed that the money belonged to him. In his retraction he claimed that he was forced to admit that currency did not belong to him and the said currency was given to him by Shri Sabir to be delivered to Mr. Hazi Shaikh. In his retraction, he claimed that he h .....

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ncy was confiscated absolutely. A penalty of ₹ 2 lakhs was imposed at the appellant under Section 114(i) of the Customs Act, 1962. The proceedings against Shri Sabir and Hazi Shaikh was kept in abeyance till their statements are recorded and further investigations are carried out. 2. The learned Counsel for the appellant argued that in similar circumstances in case of Peringatil Hamza Vs. Commissioner of Customs (Airport), Mumbai, the following question was referred to Larger Bench: - In c .....

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(as the case may be) in that case the Indian currency can be absolutely confiscated and it is discretion of the proper officer in the facts and circumstances of the case be allowed to redeem on payment of redemption fine and imposition of penalty. 2.1 Learned Counsel argued that the facts are similar in both the cases. Learned Counsel also relied on decision of Hon'ble Bombay High Court in the case of Union of India Vs. Dhanak M Ramji- 2009 (248) ELT 127 (Bom). In the said decision, the Hon .....

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ssion or custody, such goods have been seized is entitled to apply and be given the goods. 7. In our opinion, the issue whether the petitioner in W.P. 1022/09 herein, has established his title to the goods is not relevant. No other person has claimed title in the goods. The petitioner alone has claimed title in the goods and apart from that it is the petitioner who was found in possession of the goods. In these circumstances, we cannot find any error of law in the finding recorded by the Tribuna .....

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f the goods. The said currency was seized from the appellants possession and appellant is entitled to claim the same against payment of redemption fine. The Revenue challenged the aforesaid order of Hon'ble High Court before Hon'ble Supreme Court. The Hon'ble Supreme Court while dismissing the petition observed as follows: - We see no reason to interfere as the High Court has remitted the matter to the Commissioner. However, we make it clear that if the Commissioner so deems fit, he .....

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e currency was given to him by Vinod Kumar Saini, resident of .Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan for handing over to one Rakesh, who was to collect the same from Dubai. He had also given the mobile number of Rakesh and Vinod Kumar Saini. The applicant had also named Tulsi Ram, the owner of the vehicle and that he along with Vinod Kumar Saini had dropped him at the .Jaipur Airport. Statement of Vinod Kumar Saini was recorded wherein he admitted that he had gone to the airport at Jaipur to see off the applican .....

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nger did not claim currencies. Rather he argued that said currencies belong to somebody else. He has not claimed the currencies even in revision application. So claiming the ownership of, said currency during hearing held on 13-8-2012 is not acceptable. The investigation conducted by customs and statement of passenger Shri Ram Kumar categorically reveal that said currencies did not belong to Shri Ram Kumar and he acted as carrier on behalf of somebody else. Hon ble Supreme Court has held in the .....

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provisions are to be absolutely confiscated. 9. In the aforesaid paragraphs, the Revisionary Authority held that the Applicant was merely a carrier of the said currency, which the applicant wanted to take out of India for monetary considerations. The Indian currency was concealed to avoid being detected. It is clear from the aforesaid finding that the applicant was not treated as the owner of the said currency and as far as ownership is concerned, it was clearly implied that the ownership belong .....

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nt is entitled to benefit of Section 125 of the Act. In our order dated 22nd July, 2013, we had noticed that there was a delay and laches in filing of the writ petition. The impugned order is dated 9th October, 2012 and the writ petition was filed in July, 2013. Before us, it was contended that the applicant was a poor man and had to arrange for resources for filing the writ petition. The aforesaid stand, we had observed, confirms and reinforces the finding that the applicant was merely a carrie .....

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has come back to India and gone to Dubai on a number of occasions but has never been found indulging in any offence of any sort. In the present case also he has become a victim of circumstances for having believed Shri Vinod Kumar Saini. 11. In view of the above, we do not find any merit in the present application and the same is dismissed. The learned AR argued that the facts of the case are same and absolute confiscation needs to be upheld. 4. I have considered the rival submissions. I find t .....

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