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2016 (9) TMI 1165 - CESTAT KOLKATA

2016 (9) TMI 1165 - CESTAT KOLKATA - TMI - Provisional release of betel nuts seizure evidence produced as to the ownership of the goods whether rejection of provisional release of goods is proper and justified? Held that: - Even if no owner is coming forward to claim the goods then also it is a settled proposition of law that the goods should be released to the person from whose custody the goods were seized. In the present case as per the case records there is no indication till date th .....

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gh regular Custom stations. - The request of the Appellant for provisional release of seized betel nuts rejected by the Adjudicating authority was improper and legally not correct. It is ordered that seized betel nuts should be provisionally released to the Appellant after executing a bond for the full value of the goods with one solvent surety equal to 25% of the value of the seized goods. Appeal allowed decided in favor of appellant. - Miscellaneous Application No.C/M/75563/16, Appeal .....

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Customs(Prev.), Shillong seized inter alia 28030 kgs. of dry betel nuts on 13.03.2016 in truck No.AS01FC/1861 and AS01BC-5099 being transported towards Lumding. The drivers of the said trucks produced invoices of M/s.Radha Raman Traders, Silchar in favour of M/s.Eragon Infrastructure, Hoogly and were also covered by documents in Form M issued by Marketing Inspector, Cachar District Regulated Market Committee. On 07.04.2016 Appellant Shri Kubolay Paul, Proprietor of M/s.Radha Raman Traders, Silch .....

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s request. Appellant again approached Hon ble High Court of Meghalaya in WP (C) No. 198 of 2016 and Hon ble Court by an Order dated 09.08.216, after considering Order-in-Original dated 08.08.2016, made following observations:- So far the requirement of expeditious proceeding by the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal is concerned, there is no reason to doubt that upon the petitioner making a proper request for expeditious proceeding while pointing out the reasons, the Tribunal wo .....

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Tribunal concerned. 3. In view of the above directions from the Hon ble High Court Appellant made early hearing application No.C/M/75563/2016 which is allowed as per observations made by Hon ble High Court of Meghalaya under Order dated 09.08.2016 and the Appeal itself is taken up for disposal. 4. Shri Nihar Dasgupta (Advocate) appearing on behalf of the Appellant submitted that the betel nuts under seizure are goods of Indian origin and there is no evidence/indication that the same are of forei .....

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at nowhere in the Writ Petition filed before Hon ble High Court department has challenged that Appellant is not the rightful owner of the goods. That no other claimant for the seized goods has come forward so far, when the drivers of the trucks have clearly stated that the seized goods belonged to the Appellant. Ld.Advocate appearing for the Appellant further submitted that as per case law of Sonali Traders vs.Commissioner of Customs, Allahabad [2013 (298) ELT 302 (Tri.-Del.) betel nuts are not .....

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ot totally prohibited or banned under any of the laws for the time being enforced. It was the case of the Appellant that the betel nuts were of Indian origin and even for imported betel nuts also there is no licensing restrictions and import duty liability at the time of seizure was NIL. Ld.Advocate made the Bench go through para 2 of the CBEC Circular dated 03.03.2004. 4.2 On the issue of provisional release of betel nuts, Appellant relied upon the judgement dated 26.09.2014 of Hon ble High Cou .....

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rative during the course of investigation and has not come forward for giving his statement till date during the investigation. That the test conducted by Food Analyst, Guwahati also indicated that betel nuts under seizure are not fit for human consumption. It was also argued by ld.AR that no test was done by Food Analyst in the case of Shri Kajal Roy, Silchar vs. Commissioner of Customs(Prev.), Shillong, relied upon by the Appellant. 6. Heard both sides and perused the case records. 7. The only .....

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sued by Marketing Inspector, Kachar District Regulated Market Committee. No other claimant for the seized goods has come forward till date. Department has also not agitated before the Hon ble High Court that Appellant is not the real owner of the seized goods. Even if no owner is coming forward to claim the goods then also it is a settled proposition of law that the goods should be released to the person from whose custody the goods were seized. In the present case as per the case records there .....

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sification disputes, by & large, option is given for provisional clearance/assessment, if the inquiries are going to take time. However, the Board desires that a disputed or offending consignment should also not be held up unless its import/clearance is totally prohibited or banned under any law for the time being in force [E.g. PFA, CITES, Weight & Measures Act, etc.] or where prosecution is contemplated. At most, samples should be drawn & consignment should be allowed to be cleared .....

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seized goods for human consumption; is concerned, it is observed that provisions of Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 are implemented by the State Govt. and not by the authorities under the Customs Act, 1962. Such objection can be raised only when the goods are being imported through regular Custom stations. Hon ble High Court of Meghalaya in the case of Shri Kajal Roy, Silchar vs. Commissioner of Customs(Prev.), Shillong, under similar facts vide Order dated 26.09.2014 passed the following .....

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