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2002 (5) TMI 879

n petition filed under Section 438 Criminal Procedure Code seeks direction to the Arresting Officer to release him on bail forthwith in the event of his arrest, under section 135 of the Customs Act, 1962 (in short the Act) and later on added Sections 467/468/471/472 of the Indian Penal Code. Petitioner is proprietor of M/s Bash International, Jalandhar, which is engaged in the business of Hand Tools and has been exporting the same to Thailand for the last about eight years. M/s Bash International had filed shipping bill No. 2213 dated 30.3.2000 for export of 1510 packages of Drop Forged Hand Tools (spanners made of non-alloy steel) at Container Freight Station (Overseas Warehousing Corporation Ltd), Ludhiana under DEPB Scheme under Product .....

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invoiced and by getting endorsement of the examination report bearing the date as 31.3.2000 he was able to get higher DEPB benefits instead of the date of actual export, i.e 5.4.2000 as less DEPB benefits were available to the exporter as on 5.4.2000 due to affixing of value cap of ₹ 90/- per kg. on Hand Tools (Sr. No. 87 of Product Group Engineering Code: 61) of DEPB rate list with effect from 1.4.2000 as per Export Import Policy of the Government. In this manner, petitioner is stated to have defrauded the Government exchequer by manipulating the export documents in order to avail higher DEPB Credit fraudulently to the tune of ₹ 14,51,246/- (i.e. 17 per cent of FOB value ₹ 85,36,743/-) instead of ₹ 5,73,336/- which .....

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he Customs Authorities had passed the goods contained in 1510 packages for shipment and for this, he placed reliance on copy of bill, annexure P-1. According to him, the signatures of the Customs Authorities dated 31.3.2000 bear the seals of the Authorities as token of having checked the goods after its value was appraised on opening of 50 packages at random. He contended that notice in question has been issued to the petitioner in order to humiliate and harass him under the threat of prosecution under Section 135 of the Act. At the same time, he admitted that so far, no case has been registered against the petitioner-accused by the Authorities but according to him, in view of the stand taken by the respondents in the detailed written note .....

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and produce such documents and other things as may be required: Provided that the exemption under section 132 of the Code of Civil Procedure , 1908 (5 of 1908), shall be applicable to any requisition for attendance under this section. (4) Every such inquiry as aforesaid shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of section 193 and section 228 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860." 5. A bare examination of provisions of Section 108 of the Act would show that power has been vested in any gazetted officer of custom to summon any person whose attendance he deems necessary either to give evidence or to produce a document or any other thing in any inquiry which such officer is making in connection with the smuggling of any good .....

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terms of provisions of Section 25 of the Indian Evidence Act. Notice dated 22.4.2002 has been sent to the petitioner to explain his position with regard to goods exported by him, as noticed above, which power is vested in the Authority as is clearly made out from the provisions of Section 108 of the Act. During the course of arguments, counsel for the petitioner has admitted that the petitioner has not appeared before the Superintendent (Anti- Smuggling) Customs Commissionerate, Amritsar, on the date fixed. He has also admitted that another notice dated 17.5.2002 was also received by the petitioner whereby he was called upon to appear on 20.5.2002 but in pursuance to that he has not put in appearance. The totality of the circumstances on re .....

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