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R. Mohandas, Proprietor, M/s Pushpa Telecom Versus Commissioner of Customs, Deputy Commissioner of Customs, Assistant Traffic Manager

2016 (3) TMI 941 - KERALA HIGH COURT

Entitlement for provisional release of goods pending adjudication - Holder of Importer-Exporter Code Number (IEC) issued under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 imported certain goods - After investigation Customs authority took stand that petitioner is not the owner of the goods and therefore, the goods cannot be released to him on a provisional release - Held that:- as far as the Customs Authority is concerned and in terms of the Customs Act, bringing the goods of others .....

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has misused his IEC, it is the matter for that Authority to consider the issue. The Customs Authority may bring it to the notice of that Authority about such misuse but that cannot be a reason to withhold the release ordered under Section 110A referred to the judgment of Hon'ble Supreme Court in Union of India v. Sampat Raj Dugar and Another [1992 (1) TMI 103 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA]. Therefore, Customs Authority is directed to release the goods to the petitioner under Section 110A of the Custo .....

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the writ petitions are one and the same. He imported certain goods. He is the holder of a Importer-Exporter Code Number (IEC) issued under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992. Based on an interim direction of this Court, an order has been passed under Section 110-A of the Customs Act, 1962 to release the goods provisionally pending adjudication. The provisional order is passed safeguarding the interest of the Customs Authority and after imposing certain conditions. 3. It ap .....

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documents and things seized pending adjudication.-Any goods, documents or things seized under Section 110, may, pending the order of the adjudicating authority, be released to the owner on taking a bond from him in the proper form with such security and conditions as the adjudicating authority may require." 5. The above would indicate that provisional release can be made to the owner of the goods. However, it is to be noted that the under Section 125 of the Customs Act, after final adjudica .....

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ine in lieu of confiscation.- (1) Whenever confiscation of any goods is authorised by this Act, the officer adjudging it may, in the case of any goods, the importation or exportation whereof is prohibited under this Act or under any other law for the time being in force, and shall, in the case of any other goods, give to the owner of the goods or, where such owner is not known, the person from whose possession or custody such goods have been seized, an option to pay in lieu of confiscation such .....

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treated as a violation. It is a matter for the Directorate General of Foreign Trade to enter a finding whether there is any violation or not. To saddle with any liability on the petitioner under the Customs Act, one need not be the owner of the goods imported. If such stand of the Customs Authority is accepted, any importer of the goods can escape from the liability from the clutches of the Customs Act, by shifting the onus to the owner of the goods. 8. The intention of Section 125 is that, aft .....

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n 110A cannot be read in isolation from Section 125 of the Customs Act. Both the provisions have to be read together to understand the scope of release. 9. If the petitioner has misused his IEC issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, it is the matter for that Authority to consider the issue. The Customs Authority may bring it to the notice of that Authority about such misuse but that cannot be a reason to withhold the release ordered under Section 110A. In this context it is appropri .....

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