Final Order No. A/569/97-NB arising from in Appeal No. C/94/97-NB. Case: Mohd. Sayee Vs Commissioner of Customs, Lucknow. CEGAT (Customs, Excise & Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal) & CESTAT (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal)
|Final Order No. A/569/97-NB arising from in Appeal No. C/94/97-NB
|For Appellant: Shri Rajesh Kumar, Advocate and For Respondents: Shri Y.R. Kilania, JDR.
|Shri K. Sankararaman, Member (T)
|Customs Act, 1962 - Sections 111, 112, 115
|July 23, 1997
|CEGAT (Customs, Excise & Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal) & CESTAT (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal)
(Northern Bench At New Delhi)
The appeal is directed against the order-in-appeal dated 27-9-1996 passed by the Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise (Appeals), Allahabad upholding the order dated 20-2-1996 passed by the Deputy Commissioner of Customs, Lucknow. In terms of his said order, the Deputy Commissioner had imposed a penalty of Rs. 20,000/- on the appellant besides ordering confiscation of the tractor and trolley belonging to him. The said order had been passed by the Deputy Commissioner following the seizure of cloves found to be carried therein which were held to be of third country origin which had been smuggled into the country from Nepal.
Arguing the case of the appellant, Shri Rajesh Kumar, learned advocate stated that the appellant had sent the tractor and trolley with his driver for having some repairs carried out at Tetri Nagar. The driver of the vehicle employed by the appellant had accepted a load of 43 bags of cloves from the owner thereof at Tetri Nagar as also another load of 36 bags of rice bran to be delivered by him at the places indicated by the respective owners of these goods. On the Police Check Post on the way, the driver left the vehicle. The police officers handed over the tractors with the cargo to the Customs authorities. The Deputy Collector after issue of show cause notice to the owner of the vehicle and the other persons confiscated the goods as well as the tractor. he held that the cloves were of third country origin which had been smuggled into the country from Nepal. He took the fact that the driver of the vehicle ran away at the Police Check Post to be a pointer to his guilty knowledge about the contraband nature of the goods. The order was upheld by the Collector (Appeals).
It is the contention of the learned Counsel that no enquiry was conducted by the Customs officers to establish the contraband nature of the cloves or its third country origin. The owner of the cloves had made available the purchase voucher for the cloves which he had purchased in Kanpur. He had purchased 50 bags out of which he had sold 7 bags in Tetri Bazar and was arranging to move the balance quantity of 43 bags to Baansi for sale there at the weekly bazar. This contention had been raised before the departmental officers by the owner of the cloves as well as by the present appellant to whom the tractor belonged. There is no finding by the adjudicating authority to disprove the bona fide purchase of the...
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