MURARI MOHAN DUTTA Vs. WEALTH TAX OFFICER
INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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Anand Prakash, Accountant Member -
(1.) THE assessee is an individual. His valuation date for the assessment year 1976-77 was 13-4-1976. THE controversy in the present appeal centres round mainly on the addition of Rs. 6,96,544 added by the WTO as the value of gold and gold coins. THE addition was made by the WTO on the ground that the aforesaid gold and gold coins continued to be the property of the assessee, even though they had been seized originally by the income-tax authorities from the assessee on 17-1-1975 and later by the customs authorities, from the custody of the income-tax authorities, on 18-1-1975.
(2.) According to the assessee, however, the said assets were ultimately confiscated by the Collector of Customs vide order dated 29-6-1978 and this confiscation, according to him, would relate back to the date of the seizure and so it will have to be presumed as if the assessee did not own the said assets from 17-1-1975.
As the entire controversy in the present case has turned on the interpretation of the various sections of the Customs Act, 1962, it will be convenient to note down the various provisions of the Customs Act, on the interpretation of which the present controversy has to be resolved.
(3.) UNDER Section 110 of the aforesaid Act contraband goods are seized. Sub-section (1) of Section 110, so far as it is relevant for our purpose, reads as follows :
(1) If the proper officer has reason to believe that any goods are liable to confiscation under this Act, he may seize such goods :
Section 111 of the Customs Act describes the imported goods which are liable to confiscation. Clause (d) of this section is relevant for our purpose and may be extracted hereinbelow as follows :
111. The following goods brought from a place outside India shall be liable to confiscation :
(d) any goods which are imported or attempted to be imported or are brought within the Indian customs waters for the purpose of being imported, contrary to any prohibition imposed by or under this Act or any other law for time being in force ; . . .
Section 112 of the Customs Act stipulates imposition of penalty for improper importation of goods as described in Section 111.
Section 122 of the Customs Act provides for the adjudication of confiscation and penalty proceedings in respect of the improperly imported goods. It describes the officer who would do such adjudication.
Section 124 of the Customs Act provides for the issue of show cause notice before the confiscation of goods. Section 126 of the Customs Act provides the consequences of the order of confiscation. The said section reads as follows :
126. (1) When any goods are confiscated under this Act, such goods shall thereupon vest in the Central Government.
(2) The officer adjudging confiscation shall take and hold possession of the confiscated goods.
Section 128 of the Customs Act provides for appeals, etc., against the aforesaid orders of confiscation.;
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