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2016 (4) TMI 8 - CESTAT NEW DELHI

2016 (4) TMI 8 - CESTAT NEW DELHI - 2016 (340) E.L.T. 246 (Tri. - Del.) - Validity of impugned order - Competiting claims of title to seized goods - Seizure of assorted gold jewellery - Held that:- it is axiomatic that there is no provision under the Customs Act, 1962 which authorizes adjudicating authorities under this Act to decide competing claims of title to goods which are the subject matter proceedings under the Act,. Adjudication and determination of competiting claims of title to goods w .....

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and is not to be inferred as a derivative of a curial decree. Learned Counsel for the appellant, for the respondent SBI and learned DR fairly concede the position that neither the respondent/ Commissioner nor this Tribunal have jurisdiction to determine, in the circumstances of this case, whether the seized goods belong to either the appellant; to M/s. Vee Ess Jewellers; or to the State Bank of India, under the hypothecation agreement between the later. Therefore, the declaration under the impu .....

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R Per Justice G Raghuram Heard the Counsel for the appellant and learned DR representing the respondent/revenue. The appeal is preferred against the order dated 31.3.11 passed by the learned Commissioner, Customs (Air, Cargo, Export) New Delhi. The operative portion of the impugned order reads: In accordance with the directions of the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi order dated 11.2.2011 in Civil Writ Petition No. 13070/2009, I hold that the goods, gold jewellery, seized at the airport belong to .....

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ized goods. 3. Since the appeal could be disposed off on a short point of jurisdiction, we decline to go into merits of competing claims as to title to the assorted gold jewellery, the commodity involved. 4. On receiving information from DRI, New Delhi that certain companies in India, Dubai and Singapore were misusing the SEZ scheme and importing new and high end, branded gold jewellery, mis-declaring it as old jewellery for repair, assembly etc. and were exporting metal scrap to fulfill export .....

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edings were initiated for confiscation of the seized jewellery on 6.2.2009 under provisions of Customs Act, 1962, on grounds inter alia, of violation of the Foreign Trade Policy 2004-2009, the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 and provisions of the Customs Act, 1962. 6. On 20.10.2010, the appellant/ exporter of the seized goods filed a representation before the respondent seeking permission for re-export of the seized goods and lifting of the seizure inter alia on the ground that appellant was th .....

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ent relevant and material to this appeal, the operative portion of the Hon'ble High Court's order reads:- After hearing the learned Counsel for the parties and in view of the totality of circumstances, we are only inclined to direct that the Commissioner, the respondent no. 1 herein, shall dispose of the representations which have been submitted by the petitioner in accordance with the law. It is open to the petitioner to raise all possible contentions as permissible in law. The Commissi .....

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nion on the merits of the case. The writ petition is accordingly disposed of. 8. It is clear from the above judgment that the High Court had not declared that Commissioner had the jurisdiction, authority or power to decide disputes as to the title of the seized goods, between the appellant (exporter) and M/s. Vee Ess Jewelers, the importer or the State Bank of India, SAM Branch, New Delhi, which claims entitlement to the seized jewelry, pursuant to its asserted right flowing from a hypothecation .....

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red into with M/s. Vee Ess Jewelers. 10. The Tribunal, by the order dated 1.11.2012, in Customs Misc application No. 562/2012, allowed the application filed by SBI seeking to implead itself as a party to the appeal. Shri I P S Oberoi, learned Counsel representing SBI submits that there were certain proceedings against M/s. Vee Ess Jewellers, pending before the Debt Recovery Tribunal, under provisions of the Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act and the SARFESI Act, for re .....

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Policy, 2009. 12. As far as we are advised at the Bar, no appeal was preferred against this finding of learned Commissioner i.e. that the gold jewelry is not liable for confiscation under the Customs Act. 13. It requires to be noticed that pursuant to the order of the Hon'ble Delhi High Court dated 4.10.2010 and the competiting claims asserted by the appellant/ exporter and of SBI, to the concerned goods, the impugned order proceeds to analyse the competiting claims and records the finding .....

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ne else is entitled to return of this jewellery. Consequently, M/s. Vee Ess Jewelers could not have hypothecated these goods to SBI, is the substance of appellant's submission. The respondent SBI contests this assertion of the appellant with matching vehemence. 15. It requires to be noticed that M/s. Vee Ess Jewellers was not impleaded as a party to this appeal. Since the claim of SBI to the seized goods is predicated on the basis of a hypothecation agreement between itself and M/s. Vee Ess .....

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