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2016 (12) TMI 523 - DELHI HIGH COURT

2016 (12) TMI 523 - DELHI HIGH COURT - TMI - Release of detained goods - gold kara (bracelet) - gold kara (bracelet) was his ancestral jewellery and was owned by him even before leaving for Dubai - Section 110(2) of the Customs Act, 1962 - Held that: - It is only on appraisal of the gold kara (bracelet) that the authorities would be in a position to take a decision whether to seize the goods or not and it is only thereafter that the limitation, as prescribed by sub-Section 2 of Section 110 of th .....

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the respondents under the Detention Receipt dated 11.02.2015, to the petitioner within two weeks from today, on the petitioner presenting a certified copy of this order before the Superintendent of the Warehouse where the gold kara (bracelet) is stored - appeal allowed - decided in favor of appellant-assessee. - W.P.(C) 1492/2016 - Dated:- 8-12-2016 - MR. SANJEEV SACHDEVA J. For the Petitioner: Mr. Rishabh Kapoor with Mr. Saurabh Kapoor and Mr. Mayank Jain, Advocates. For the Respondents: Mr. Vi .....

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e exit gate before crossing the green channel and was questioned for detainable goods being in his possession. It is contended that the gold kara (bracelet), owned by the petitioner, was seized on the ground that gold kara (bracelet) is imported from Dubai. Detention Memo dated 11.02.2015 (Annexure P - 2) was issued. 3. It is the case of the petitioner that the petitioner sought release of the gold kara (bracelet) alongwith supporting documents to show that the said gold kara (bracelet) was his .....

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e gold kara (bracelet), the gold kara (bracelet) is liable to be released. 5. Reliance is placed on the decision of the Division Bench of this Court in Mohd. Salman Khan vs. Union of India: 2016 (337) ELT 513 (Del). 6. Notice in the petition was issued on 31.03.2016 and the respondents were permitted to file a counter affidavit. No counter affidavit has been filed by the respondents. 7. It is contended by counsel for the Respondents that the gold kara (bracelet) of the petitioner has not been se .....

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o applicability. He submits that the said section applies only in case of seizure of the goods and not in case of detention. 9. It is further contended that the petitioner was to present himself for the purposes of appraisal and clearance of the gold kara (bracelet). Since the petitioner did not present himself, the gold kara (bracelet) could not be appraised and, accordingly, cleared. It is the contention of the respondents that since the petitioner did not cooperate with the respondents, the g .....

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) of the Act. 10. Section 110(2) of the Customs Act, 1962 reads as under:- "110. Seizure of goods, documents and things.- (2) Where any goods are seized under sub-section (1) and no notice in respect thereof is given under clause (a) of Section 124 within six months of the seizure of the goods, the goods shall be returned to the person from whose possession they were seized: Provided that the aforesaid period of six months may, on sufficient cause being shown, be extended by the Commissione .....

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f Customs for a further period not exceeding six months. 12. In terms of Section 110(2) read with Proviso, the maximum period for which the goods can remain seized without issuance of a notice under Section 124(a) is one year. 13. In the present case, the goods were detained on 11.02.2015 and, till date, no notice under 124(a) of the Act has admittedly been issued. 14. Coming to the contention of the learned counsel for the respondents that the goods have not been seized but have only been detai .....

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ad of their 'seizure'. Therefore, where a customs officer is satisfied that the person found with the goods is not able to produce the necessary documents to justify being in possession thereof, the Customs officer has to form an opinion under Section 110(1) of the Act as to whether the said goods are liable to be confiscated and if so, to give a SCN under Section 124(a) of the Act. Section 100(2) makes it clear that the maximum time-limit for giving a SCN is six months from the date of .....

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of goods in order to avoid the consequences flowing from the 'seizure' of goods. In other words, if the Customs Department is unable to give a SCN under Section 124(a) of the Act within six months (plus another six months where a specific order to that effect has been passed) then in terms of Section 110(2) of the Act, the said goods have to be released to the person from whom they were seized. 11. In the present case, there appears to be no legal justification for the Customs Department .....

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dispute. 12. If that is the position, then under Section 110(2) of the Act a SCN had to be given under Section 124(a) of the Act within six months of 17th June, 2014. With no such SCN having been given, the inevitable consequence, therefore, is that as mandated by Section 110(2) of the Act, the seized goods shall be returned to the person from whose possession it was seized. 8. It is clear that there is a definite time limit within which the Department has to determine if the seized goods are to .....

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