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Muruli Sandik, Jay Jayram Yadav, Jagarnath Yadav Versus Commissioner of Customs (Preventive) , Shillong

2016 (9) TMI 275 - CESTAT KOLKATA

Confiscation of seized betel nuts - Section 111(b) of the Customs Act, 1962 – imposition of redemption fine - section 125 of the Customs Act, 1962 – imposition of penalty - Section 112(b)(ii) of the Customs Act, 1962 – demand of duty - Section 125(2) of the Customs Act, 1962 – whether 521 bags of betel nuts are of foreign origin and smuggled into India, so as to attract confiscation, fine and penalty ? – Held that: - the case is already decided in Maqsood ALam vs.- Commr. of Customs, Lucknow 201 .....

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cannot make the goods liable to confiscation under Section 111(b) of the Customs Act, 1962 – imposition of redemption fine, penalty and duty unjustified – appeal disposed off – decided in favor of appellant. - Appeal Nos. C/75661, 75662 & 75663/16 - Order No. FO/A/75877-75879/16 - Dated:- 18-8-2016 - Shri H.K.Thakur, Member (Technical) Sri Nihar Dasgupta, Advocate for the Appellant Sri S.N.Mitra, AC(AR) for the Respondent ORDER Per Shri H. K. Thakur 1. These appeals have been filed by the .....

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also imposed penalty of ₹ 50,000/- upon each of the appellant under Section 112(b)(ii) and also demanded duty under Section 125(2) of the Customs Act, 1962 from the appellants. 2. Shri Nihar Dasgupta (Advocate) appearing on behalf of the appellants argued that all the three appeals have originated from the same OIO and may be taken up together. Learned Advocate submitted that Tangla Police Station recovered 521 bags containing 41,150 kgs of Dry Betel Nuts from platform No.1 of Tangla Railw .....

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ilway receipts. Learned Advocate made the bench go through the documents, including cash receipt indicating cess paid on supari to Market Committee Tangla Centre. It is the case of the appellants that Adjudicating Authority has brushed aside the documents furnished only on the ground that appellant did not have any trade license, Sale/cash memo etc. indicating purchase of seized goods. That there is no evidence at all in the entire proceedings that seized betel nuts were of foreign origin. That .....

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iii) Commr.of Cus.(Preventive), W.B.,Calcutta-vs.-Dungarmal Mohata [2006(200) E.L.T.522(Cal.) 3. Shri S.N.Mitra AC(AR) appearing for the Revenue argued that appellants could not produce any trade license or sale/cash memo regarding purchase of seized goods and that Form M and Form-K relied upon by the appellants do not correspond to the goods recovered/seized. Learned AR reiterated the findings of the Adjudicating Authority. 4. Heard both sides and perused the case records. The only issue requi .....

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e reason to believe that said 521 bags of betel nuts were of foreign origin. For the purpose of seizure the reason to belief may be acceptable but such a hearsay evidence is not at all sufficient to order confiscation of goods. There is no evidence on record the seized betel nuts have come to India across international border. There is also no expert/trade opinion that the category /quality of seized betel nuts are not found in India. Betel nut is not a notified item under Section 123 of the Cus .....

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2. Adjudicating Authority has only concentrated in finding faults with the documents furnished by the appellants without bringing on record as to how seized goods were of foreign origin and were smuggled into India and from where. 5. It is also observed from the case records that under similar factual matrix CESTAT, Delhi in the case of Maqsood ALam vs.- Commr. of Customs, Lucknow (Supra) has allowed an appeal of the appellant by making the following observations in paragraph-4: 4. The core issu .....

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smuggled and what is the origin thereof. It is seen that Shri Maqsood Alam has confirmed that the goods were sent by him to M/s. RK Enterprises, who has also confirmed having placed the order therefor. M/s. Bahubali Attractions Pvt. Ltd. has accepted having supplied the goods to Shri Maqsood Alam and has also claimed along with the evidence of cash memos that they had bought almost 46 tons of betel nuts under various cash memos (on payment including VAT) from two cooperative societies, which in .....

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them. There is force in the appellants contention that the goods were sold to NCCF in the month of March, 2008, which in turn were sold by the cooperative societies in the month of April, 2008 and were further sold by M/s. Bahubali Attractions Pvt. Ltd. in the month of May, 2008 and it is not legally valid to treat the opinions of the personnel of the cooperative societies/NCCF based on mere visual examination of the impugned goods after so many months as a sustainable legal evidence, more so b .....

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