SHENBAGAVALLI Vs. ASSISTANT COLLECTOR OF CENTRAL EXCISE, CUSTOMS DIVISION, NAGAPATTINAM
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Assistant Collector Of Central Excise, Customs Division, Nagapattinam
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Suryamurthy, J. -
(1.) THIS is a preposterous petition to stay all further proceedings in C.C. No. 774 of 1977 on the file of the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Nagapattinam, pending disposal of the appeal C. 24, S/66/77 on the file of the Collector of Central Excise and Customs, Madurai.
(2.) THE Assistant Collector of Central Excise, Customs Divisions, Nagapattinam, has filed a complaint before the Judicial Sub -Divisional Magistrate, Nagapattinam, in C.C. No. 774 of 1977 against the petitioner and five others under the Customs Act and the Gold Control Act. The allegation against the petitioner and her husband's brother is that they had in their possession, custody and control, primary gold weighing 39.5 grams in contravention of the provisions of S. 8(1)(b), read with S. 85(1)(11) of the Gold Control Act. The Departmental proceedings have been initiated against the petitioner under the Customs Act and the Gold Control Act. The petitioner has been proceeded against before the Deputy Collector of Central Excise, Madurai. By an order dated 11th July 1977, the said officer has confiscated the gold and has imposed a penalty of Rs. 500/ - on the petitioner. The petitioner claims to have filed an appeal against the order of the Deputy Collector. The appeal is pending before the Collector of Central Excise, Customs, Madurai. Under the Customs Act, the petitioner was proceeded against before the Deputy Collector of Central Excise and Customs, Madurai. The Deputy Collector confiscated the Indian currency for Rs. 10,000/ - and imposed a penalty of Rs. 1,000/ - on the petitioner. Against this order, the petitioner claims to have filed an appeal. That appeal is also said to be pending. In the meantime, on a complaint given by the respondent, the criminal case has been taken on file by the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Nagapattinam and is pending trial. It is this case that the petitioner wants to be stayed, because, she contends that she will be put to serious inconvenience, hardship and prejudice and that it may lead to a conflict of decisions in respect of the same subject matter before the two forums.
(3.) I am unable to accept this contention. The decision of the Criminal Court will have no bearing on the Departmental proceedings. Neither the hardship nor the inconvenience that may be caused to the petitioner will be a ground for staying the proceedings. If the petitioner is so advised, she may ask the Assistant Collector of Central Excise, Customs Aivision, Nagapattinam, to stay the proceedings to avoid a conflict of decisions. The interests of justice require that far from being stayed, the case should be tried expeditiously and disposed of strictly according to law. Therefore, this petition is dismissed. The Sub divisional Judicial Magistrate, Nagapattinam, is directed to expedite the trial of C.C. No. 774 of 1977 on his file and dispose of the same strictly according to law.;
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