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Smt. Sangeeta Maheshwari Versus Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise, Ghaziabad

2017 (12) TMI 1111 - CESTAT ALLAHABAD

Confiscation - gold bars - smuggling - penalty - Held that: - the seizure of the gold biscuits and the subsequent proceedings are prima facie vitiated, there being no warrant of search in the name of the appellant. Further, it is apparent from the record that no reason was recorded against the appellant for any alleged evasion of Central Excise duty or evasion of any Customs duty - further, the appellant have discharged the onus as required under Section 123 of the Customs Act, 1962 - confiscati .....

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confirm the Order-in-Original, confiscating the two gold bars seized from the locker of the appellant on 22nd February, 2005, absolutely, along with penalty of ₹ 25,000/- under Section 112 of the Customs Act for illegal possession of gold. 2. The brief facts as per the show cause notice issued in December, 2005 are that there was a search proceeding conducted by Central Excise Officers, Ghaziabad on 3rd February, 2005 at the residential premises of Shri B.K. Lakhotia (Director of M/s Rath .....

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aid locker some cash was found and gold jewellery and two gold bars biscuits having foreign marking respectively. Statement of appellant - Smt. Sangeeta Maheshwari was recorded under Section 14 of the Central Excise Act on the same day, wherein, she deposed that jewellery was received by her during marriage and that two gold biscuits/bars were gifted to her by her late mother before her death in the year 1997. Subsequently the appellant vide her letter dated 25/02/2005 addressed to the Assistant .....

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epartment to the said M/s R.D. Jewelers, 95, Dr. Atmaram Merchant Road, Labh Niwas, 1st Floor, opposite Anantwadi, Mumbai 02. However, BST No.1S/6278 with effect from 1st April, 1996, which was endorsed on the subject bill with rubber stamp was allotted by Sales Tax Department to a firm namely M/s Raj Enterprises, Bhuleshwar, Bombay-02. That RC of CST No.400002/C/5772 is not in existence. Enquiry was also made with the landlord of Labh Niwas , Shri Kirti J. Ambani, who in his statement dated 5th .....

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mported into the country in violation of the Customs Act, 1962 and hence liable for confiscation. The said two gold bars were seized under the Panchnama dated 09/08/2005 (detained on 22/02/2005) and were taken into possession by the Central Excise Officers. Thereafter, show cause notice No.22/2005 dated 29/12/2005 was issued to Smt. Sangeeta Maheshwari by the Assistant Commissioner (A.E.), Customs & Central Excise, Ghaziabad. Requiring to show cause as to why the two seized gold bars embosse .....

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cular, (6 months of detention). As such the proceedings are without jurisdiction as the said Circular is binding on the Revenue Authorities. It is further stated that the whole proceedings are vitiated as no search warrant was issued by the competent authority authorising the search of the Locker No.620 with Oriental Bank of Commerce Nasirpur Branch Ghaziabad held by the appellant Smt. Sangeeta Maheshwari, as is evident from the facts recorded in the Panchnama dated 3rd February, 2005, drawn at .....

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e provisions of the Central Excise law or the Customs Act. Hence, the Assistant Commissioner (A.E.) neither had any material before him to form reason to believe, nor recorded any reason to believe before authorizing the search in respect of Locker No.620, directions were given on telephone itself to his subordinate officers who were conducting search at the residence of Shri B.K. Lakhotia. It was also stated that the appellant by her letter dated 07/02/2005 had immediately lodged her objection .....

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cial function is to achieve the objects of fair play. 4. It was further pointed out that at the time of Panchnama proceedings of the locker, the appellant had explained the source of acquisition of the two gold biscuits/bars as having been received from her late mother. Further, she also produced the purchase invoice issued by R.D. Jewelers, Bombay (now Mumbai) which certified that her late mother Smt. Meena Devi Kabra had purchased two gold bars/biscuits on 26/12/1996. Further, the existence of .....

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further penalty was imposed of ₹ 25,000/- under Section 112 of the Customs Act. Being aggrieved the appellant preferred appeal before Learned Commissioner (Appeals) who vide the impugned order was pleased to reject the appeal. 6. The Learned Counsel for the Appellant have taken me through the copy of the RUDs and also reiterated her submissions and grounds of appeal. She further emphasizes that the appellant have discharged her onus as required under law under Section 123 of the Customs Ac .....

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