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Rajesh Trehan Versus Principal Commissioner of Customs & Another

Seizure of imported TVs - LED TV or not valuation and misdeclaration no exemption re-examination of goods provisional release of goods Held that: - within a period of two weeks, and in the presence of a representative of the Petitioner and one representative each of the DRI and the Customs, a re-examination will take place of the seized goods which are in the custody of the Petitioner on superdari. A detailed inventory will be drawn up. The cost of engaging additional help for the purp .....

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Mr Deepan Anand, Advocate for R-1. Mr. Satish Aggarwala, Advocate ORDER 1. This is the second round of litigation emanating from an earlier order dated 29th February, 2016 passed by this Court in WP(C) No. 1775/2016, filed by this very Petitioner Rajesh Trehan. 2. The facts in brief are that the Petitioner opened a proprietary concern M/s. Rajesh Trehan in August, 2014 for the purpose of trading in LED TV panels and spare parts. The he said proprietary concern is stated to have a certificate of .....

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petition. 3. Inter alia, for the purposes of the present order, what is relevant is that the Petitioner undertook to keep the seized goods handed over to him intact and in the same condition as they are now and produce them whenever called upon to do so by the competent authority of the Customs/ DRI. Annexure A to the panchnama which lists out the seized goods reads as under: S. No. Model No. Size Nos. Complete/ Incomplete 1 UA48H6400AK 48 inches 72 Complete 2 UA40H5100AR 40 inches 1 Complete 3 .....

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t the benefit of duty exemption was wrongly claimed with respect to the Bills of Entry (B/Es) under which the said LED TV panels were imported. There were allegations of misdeclaration and undervaluation. The Petitioner was called upon to pay the differential customs duty that was evaded and short-paid together with interest and penalty. 5. What is relevant for the purposes of the present petition is para 20 of the SCN, which reads as under: 20. Photocopies of the documents relied upon in this S .....

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itled: Relied upon documents to the SCN No. (51/2015) dated 26.09.2015 . While the main text of the SCN concludes at page 53, and the bottom of the page shows Page 53 of 54 , Annexure-AA itself does not mention page no. 54. Be that as it may, what is evident is that in terms of Annexure AA there are 31 Relied Upon Documents ( RUDs ) to the SCN. However, as pointed out by Mr. Mukesh Anand, learned counsel for the Petitioner, the text of the SCN itself refers to only 19 RUDs. The 19th RUD is menti .....

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dated 29th April 2015 in W.P. (C) No. 4225 of 2015 filed by the Petitioner, a learned Single Judge of this Court, inter alia, observed that the Petitioner s prayer for re-examination of the goods will be considered by the DRI and appropriates orders will be passed. When no such order was passed, the Petitioner filed a Contempt Case No. 614/2015 in which an order was passed on 5th August, 2015 noting, inter alia, that the Petitioner had no further clarification or documents to submit. The contemp .....

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ts showing sale of goods, which were imported by you in past. (iii) Failure to provide/ produce any documentary evidence/ details challenging the contents or sanctity of the panchnama.... 8. The Petitioner s request for provisional release of the goods was disposed of by the Principal Commissioner, Customs (Import) by an order dated 11th February, 2016 by imposing a set of conditions which, inter alia, required the Petitioner to pay 100% of the differential duty, execute a bond equivalent to 100 .....

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, challenging the order dated 11th February, 2016 passed by the Principal Commissioner of Customs granting conditional provisional release of the goods. The Petitioner also prayed for re-examination of the goods. When said writ petition was heard, learned counsel for the Petitioner made a submission that prayer made in this petition is being confined to seeking provisional release of the goods . The Court, in para 5 of the order dated 29th February 2016, took note of the fact that the Petitioner .....

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ication) to conclude the adjudication proceedings and to pass an adjudication order not later than four months from today . 10. On 28th April, 2016, the Petitioner wrote a letter to the Adjudicating Officer (AO) requesting for the annexures to the SCN to enable him to file a reply. According to the Petitioner, this was the first date of hearing in the adjudicating proceedings that had been fixed by the AO after the order dated 29th February, 2016 passed by this Court. In response to the above le .....

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ting that on 6th June, 2016 the Petitioner had been handed over incomplete RUDs 1 to 17 and not RUDs 18 and 19. The Petitioner pointed out that in the absence of the complete RUDs, it would not be possible for the Petitioner to submit a detailed and appropriate reply. A separate letter was addressed by the Petitioner on 7th June, 2016 to the DRI to the same effect. Another detailed representation was made by the counsel for the Petitioner to both the Customs and the DRI on 13th June, 2016 seekin .....

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as under: ...... Please find enclosed a set of RUD's No. 01 to 31 to the abovementioned SCN No. 51/2015 dated 26.09.2015. 2. - In this regard, it is also informed that RUD's No. 01 to 17 were earlier submitted to the adjudicating authority on 02.06.2016 and RUD's No. 18 to 31 were again submitted to the adjudicating authority on 17.06.2016 which were immediately provided to the noticees including yourself as intimated to this office by the adjudicating authority vide their letter C. .....

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et by this Court by order dated 29th April 2016 to complete the adjudication proceedings within a period of four months thereafter was not going to be complied with. It is in these circumstances that the present petition was again filed by the Petitioner again seeking for quashing of the SCN for unconditional release of the goods seized through the panchnama dated 28th September 2014. 14. In response to the notice issued in this petition on 21st July, 2016 Mr. Satish Aggarwala appeared on behalf .....

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d counsel for the Petitioner. 15. In light of the fact that the 31 RUDs have been supplied only today to the Petitioner, the time for completion of the adjudication proceedings has to be extended. The Court directs that within a period of two months from today, the adjudication proceedings should be completed and the adjudication order should be passed without any further postponement with the full cooperation of the Petitioner. 16. Learned counsel for the Petitioner reiterated the plea for re- .....

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. 17. In the first place, the Court notices that the observation in para 23 of the above order of the Supreme Court was made in a case arising under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. It was in the specific context of the re-testing and re-sampling of the seized consignments of drugs. Clearly the context in which the re- examination of goods is being sought in the present case, is very different. Secondly, the list of the seized goods has already been enclosed with the pan .....

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