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Commissioner of Customs (Airport & Air Cargo) , Chennai VREUS Mohammed Rafick Bin Samsudeem

2016 (7) TMI 466 - GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

Clandestine import of goods in the baggage - import of Sony Camera for someone else - passenger was intercepted at the green channel - absolute confiscation and levy of penalty - Held that:- In the present case as the passenger has brought the goods for someone else and acted as a carrier. Therefore, the impugned goods cannot be allowed to be redeemed on payment of redemption fine. Government places reliance on the following decisions of the higher courts the ratio of which is squarely applicabl .....

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1/2016-CUS - Dated:- 21-3-2016 - SMT. RIMJHIM PRASAD, JOINT SECRETARY ORDER: This Revision Application is filed by Commissioner of Customs (Airport & Air Cargo), Chennai (here in after referred to as Department) against the Order-in-Appeal No. 907/2013 dated 28.06.2013 passed by Commissioner of Customs (Appeals), Chennai, with respect to Order-in-Original No.550/Batch 1 B' dated 06.05.2013 passed by Assistant Commissioner of Customs (Airport), Chennai. 2. Briefly stated facts of the case .....

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iver of Show Cause Notice passed the spot adjudication order dated 06.05.2013 and confiscated the goods absolutely under Section Ill(d),(l),(m) &(o) of the Customs Act, 1962 read with Section 3 (3) of Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992 and Section 79 of the Customs Act,1962 and the Baggage Rules made there under. Penalty of ₹ 10,000/- was also imposed upon the pax under Section 112(a). 3. Being aggrieved by the said Order-in-Original, applicant filed appeal before C .....

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62 before Central Government on the following grounds: 4.1 That the order of Commissioner (Appeals) does not discuss why the concession of redemption is being given in spite of the passenger acting as a carrier which is recorded in the record of personal hearing as well as stated in the cross objections during appeal. This fact of the passenger being a carrier has been ignored and not taken into consideration resulting in granting an unintended benefit to the passenger at the cost of revenue. 4. .....

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dated 28.08.2012. Similarly, Government in its Revision Order No. 401-406/12-cUs dated 11.10.2012 and 407-409/12 cus dated 12.10.2012 pertaining to Chennai cases has upheld the absolute confiscation of goods brought by carrier passenger. 4.3 Absolute confiscation in such cases is upheld in the judgements of Hon'ble Tribunal order No. 1980-1995/09 dated 24/12/2009 in the case of G.V Ramesh and others vs CC Air Chennai 2010 (252) ELT 0212 (T-Mad.). 4.4 Hon'ble High Court of Bombay in the .....

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t is apprehended that the impugned Order-in-Appeal if implemented would jeopardize revenue interests irreparably since the passenger is a foreign national and the likelihood of securing the revenue interests as per original order in the event of its restoration during this revision process would be grim. 4.5 In view of the above, it is prayed that the order in appeal be set aside absolute confiscation and penalty be upheld and such an order be passed as deemed fit. 5. A show cause notice was iss .....

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vested with the Commissioner of Customs, which ought not to be permitted to be sustained by the Revisionary Authority without prejudice. 5.2. That there is nothing wrong in the order of the Commissioner of Customs (Appeals) in permitting redemption of the one unit Sony Camera which by no stretch of imagination could be considered as 'Prohibited Goods'. 5.3. That at the time of personal hearing before the Commissioner of Customs (Appeals) that other than the camera the respondent did not .....

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ed that the camera did not belong to him and that he was carrying the camera for someone else. That the respondent had urged before the adjudicating authority that by no stretch of imagination can 1 unit Sony Camera be considered 'Prohibited Goods' and that the option to redeem the said goods ought to be permitted under the provisions of Section 125 of the Customs Act, 1962. 5.5. That the grounds raised in the revision application exhibits total non-application of mind and also ignorance .....

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ermission to redeem goods on payment of a redemption fine when the goods are not prohibited' for their import and admittedly one unit Sony Camera is not prohibited for its import. 5.8. It is prayed that the revision application filed by the applicant may be dismissed and the order of the appellate authority be upheld. 6. Personal Hearing scheduled in this case on 07.09.2015, 05.10.2015 and 05.11.2015. Shri S. Aravindh (Advocate), M/S Aum Associates attended hearing on behalf of the responden .....

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g interrogation he confessed to have carried one Sony camera (model DCR-VX2200E) valued at ₹ 1,00,000/- for someone else. As the respondent attempted to smuggle one Sony high end camera without declaring it to Customs, in contravention of Section 77 of the Customs Act, 1962 and during the course of hearing before the adjudicating authority the passenger admitted the fact that he had brought the impugned goods for somebody else. The impugned Order-in-Original ordered the absolute confiscati .....

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educed the penalty to ₹ 5,000. Now the Department has filed this Revision Application under Section 129 DD of the Customs Act, 1962 on the grounds at para 4. 9. Government observes that the main contention of the Department is the fact that respondent is a carrier and brought the goods for someone else and this fact has been ignored by the Commissioner (Appeals) who has allowed the unintended benefit to redeem the goods on payment of redemption fine. 10. Government notes that in the impugn .....

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ct by the respondent that he had carried the impugned item for someone else and there is nothing on record to show that any invoice was produced before the original authority or any claim made that the item was for gifting purpose. 12. There is nothing on record to show that the said submission has been made under any pressure or duress. In fact it is undeniably a voluntary statement made by the respondent during the course of personal hearing granted in the interest of natural justice, clearly .....

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e duty liability of the impugned goods and it is to be given as gift to his friend in India. Any contract claim regarding ownership of the impugned goods made before the Commissioner (Appeals) and in counter reply to the Revision Application is clearly an after thought. 13. Government opines that any oral submission made before the adjudicating authority will be a material piece of evidence, in view of the specific admission made by the respondent before adjudicating authority. Government is inc .....

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such articles does not exceed such limits as may be specified in the rules. In this case, the respondent walked through the green channel without declaring the goods he possessed much in excess of the prescribed baggage allowance which clearly shows that he wished to evade duty involved on the impugned goods brought by him for someone else. The goods are clearly not bonafide baggage and rightly held as liable for confiscation. 15. In the present case as the passenger has brought the goods for so .....

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62 or any other law for the time being in force the goods would be considered to be prohibited goods and this prohibition would also operate on such goods the export or import of which is subject to certain prescribed conditions if the conditions are not fulfilled. Further in the case of Samyanathan Murugesan vs Commissioner reported in 2010(254) ELT A15 (SC) the Hon'ble Supreme Court has held that where the passenger did not fulfill the eligibility criteria it makes the imported goods prohi .....

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