Decided on November 15,1977

KANMAL Appellant


- (1.) THIS Petition has been filed by the brother of the detenu to issue a writ of habeas corpus or any other appropriate writ and direct the production of the body of D. Gaverchand before this Court, now detained in the Central Prison, Madras, by virtue of the order of detention passed by the first respondent in GO Ms No. S/1 863/1/75 Public S. C. Department dated 7-5-1975, and for directing the said detenu to be set at liberty forthwith. The case of the petitioner is that the detenu is his brother, who was having a textile business at No. 4/13 Kasi Chetti St, Madras under the name and style of Ambika Fancy Stores. In April 1974, the detenu went to his native place in Rajasthan and thereby he incurred loss in his business also. On 23-6-1977, the detenu was arrested at Rajasthan and was brought to Madras on 6-71977 and detained in the Central Prison, Madras. He was served with a detention order on 7-7-1977 and the grounds of detention were served on him on 8-7-1977.
(2.) THE detenu was detained by the Government of Madras, by an order passed in G. O. No. S/1863/1/75 Public SC Department D/- 7-5-1975. The order reads that the detenu has been detained Under Section 3 (1) of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974, owing to the fact that the said detenu was dealing in smuggled goods otherwise than by engaging in transporting smuggled goods. In the grounds of detention, the Government has enumerated two instances. One is that the Preventive Officers searched the shop of the detenu on 14-6-1973 and recovered the goods of foreign origin like textiles, perfumes, sunglass, cassetes tapes etc valued at Rs. 2914. The detenu Gaverchand was present during the search and he was not in possession of any bills or documents to prove the original or legal acquisition of the aforeisaid goods. Hence all the aforesaid goods were seized on a reasonable belief that they were smuggled into India. The detenue, in his statement dated 14-6-1973, given before the Customs Officers, admitted the recovery of the aforesaid goods from his shop and stated, among other things, that he purchased the goods from various brokers coming to the market and he was not aware of their names and addresses and that the brokers did not give him any details or names. A show cause notice was issued to Goverchand on 12-8-1973. Later all the goods under seizure were confiscated as per Act 1962 (amended ). A penalty of Rs. 1250 was also imposed on Goverchand Under Section 112 of the Customs Act, 1972. Against this order, Goverchand preferred an appeal, which was rejected for noncompliance with the provisions of Section 129 of the Customs Act 1062.
(3.) THE second ground of detention is that on 6-3-1974, the Officers of the Customs department searched the shop of the detenu at No. 4/13 Kasi Chetti St, Madras and recovered various goods of foreign origin, like textiles, watches, tapes, obscene films, etc, valued at Rs. 3272. The detenu was not in possession of any documents or bills to prove the origin and legal acquisition of the aforesaid goods and as he had not intimated to the Customs authorities for possession and sale of notified goods as required under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 (as amended), the aforesaid goods were seized on a reasonable belief that they were smuggled into India In the statement dated 6-31974, given before the Customs Officer, Gaverchand admitted the recovery of the aforesaid foreign goods from his shop and stated inter alia that his shop had no stock register and the goods were therefore not duty entered, that during the past ten days, he had purchased all the foreign goods from four brokers on payment of Rs. 1000, without bills and kept them in the shop for sale, that the four brokers informed him that they came from Bangalore and he did not know their names and addresses, that he did not obtain any receipts for all the foreign goods and that he knew that it was an offence to buy foreign goods without receipts and keep and sell them. He stated that the obscene pictures were brought and kept in his shop, the previous day evening by one Sundar whose address he did not know. A show cause notice was issued by the department which was received on 15-6-1974. He did not reply to the notice. An intimation was therefore sent to him asking him to appear for a personal hearing before the case was decided. Though this intimation was also received by him, he failed to turn up for the personal hearing. The case was, therefore, adjudicated ex parte on the basis of the evidence on record and all the goods were confiscated under the Customs Act 1962 (as amended ). A penalty of Rs. 500 was also imposed on Gaverchand.;

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