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T. Soundara Rajan Versus Commissioner of Customs, Chennai

2016 (2) TMI 647 - CESTAT CHENNAI

Levy of redemption fine and penalty - seizure of foreign currency carried by appellant in person as a passenger - Held that:- considering the fact that the appellant was already arrested and remanded to judicial custody for 15 days and he was also prosecuted in the criminal proceedings by the lower court and also considering that where the profit margin is determined based on market price and value of currency is purely based on fluctuation of foreign exchange rate, we find that RF and penalty i .....

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ondent : Ms. Indira Sisupal, AC (AR) ORDER Per R. Periasami The appeal is taken up in pursuance of Hon'ble Madras High Court's order dt. 3.7.2015. 2. The brief facts of the case relates to seizure of foreign currency from the appellant at the Chennai Airport on his departure from Chennai to Singapore, confiscation and imposition of redemption fine and penalty. The Tribunal in the Final Order No.1014/2009 dt. 19.8.2009 reduced the redemption fine from ₹ 11 lakhs to ₹ 6 lakhs a .....

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nd disposal. 2. Ld. Advocate submitted written synopsis today and also the history of date and events of proceedings from 2006 to 2008 and also submits that vide OIO dt. 10.8.2006, the adjudicating authority viz. Commissioner of Customs (Airport & ACC), Chennai ordered for absolute confiscation and also imposed penalty. The Tribunal in the order No.618/2007 dt. 19.4.2007 set aside the order and remanded the matter to the Commissioner to quantify the redemption fine. In the de novo order dt. .....

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ts that the Tribunal considered all the facts and also relied para-8 of OIO where the adjudicating authority has imposed RF of 50% by taking depreciation of the foreign currency amount which is very high. He pleaded for reduction in the RF. He relied (i) the Supreme Court judgement in the case of Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai Vs Mansi Impex - 2011 (270) ELT 631 (S.C.), (ii) Tribunal's Final Order No.325/2009 dt. 30.3.2009 in the case of S.Pondithurai Vs CC and (iii) (3) UOI Vs Rostam Parva .....

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cate in the case of S.Pondithurai (supra) is not applicable to the facts of this case as held by the Hon'ble Madras High Court in their order dt. 3.7.2015. The Hon'ble Karnataka High Court in a reported judgement of CC Vs Syed Mehaboob Syed Kareem - 2014 (305) ELT 565 (Kar.) has also distinguished the Tribunal s order in the case of Halithu Ibrahim Vs Commissioner 2005 (183) ELT 307 (T) holding that Tribunal's order of reducing the RF & Fine drastically without recording any vali .....

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rusal of para-8 of OIO of adjudication order, we find that adjudicating authority for arriving at the redemption fine has taken the prevailing foreign exchange rate and also the depreciation of the foreign exchange of US$ and by taking into depreciation value of seized foreign currency he converted into Indian rupees as 21,98,315/-. By taking this exchange rate value, he imposed the redemption of 50% on the value of equivalent to foreign currency. In this regard, we find that in this case of the .....

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that quantum of redemption fine is always is dependent on the determination of the market price of the goods confiscated which is one of the prerequisites prescribed in the statute itself. Relevant paras of the above Hon ble Supreme court judgement are reproduced as under :- "12. Section 125 of the Act being the provision for levying the redemption fine in lieu of confiscation, the said provision is to be strictly followed and, therefore, said redemption fine should be imposed by the compe .....

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and survey regarding the market price of the goods confiscated at the relevant point of time. The quantum of redemption fine which could be imposed is always dependent on the determination of the market price of the goods confiscated. This is one of the pre-requisites prescribed in the statute itself. In the present cases where not even a sample market survey was done for determining the market price of the goods, it could not have been possible for the Commissioner to arrive at a legally justi .....

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