G RAMANUJAM Vs. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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(1.) A charge-sheet was filed by the
Assistant Collector of Customs and Central
Excise, Nellore Division, against the
accused for offences under section 135 (a)
and (4) (ii) of the Customs Act, alleging
that on 27th August, 1968 at about 9-30
A.M., at Eruvaram Sales Tax Check post
on Chittoor-Bangalore road the accused
who was travelling in a bus from Bangalore to Chittoor, was found in possession
of 2 paper packets each containing 5
pieces of gold biscuits weighing 10 tolas
each with foreign marking engraved
thereon and as the accused could not
explain his possession of these biscuits,
they were seized and hence the accused
had committed the offences stated above.
(2.) After the trial Court took cognizance
of the complaint, the accused filed a revision petition before the 1st Additional
Sessions Judge, Chittoor, taking a preliminary objection that the prosecution
launched against him infringed the protection against double jeopardy enshrined
in clause 2 of Article 20 of the Constitution of India as he had already suffered
the penalty imposed by the customs
authority. Admittedly the Collector,
Central Excise who conducted the enquiry
directed confiscation of the gold seized
under section in (d) of the Customs
Act and also imposed a penalty of
Rs. 5,000 under section 112 (b) of the
Customs Act. It was contended that the
further prosecution cannot be launched
against the accused for the same offence
This plea was rejected by the trial
Court and also in Revision by the Sessions Judge.
(3.) The same plea is taken again here.
In Thomas Dana v. State of Punjab, it was
pointed out that there is a distinction
between a proceeding before the Customs
Authorities while enforcing prohibition
proceedings and a Criminal Prosecution
before a Magistrate with a view to
punishing offenders under the provisions
of the same section, and that the proceeding before the Excise Authority is not
prosecution and they do not constitute a
Court that thus one of the 3 essential
conditions laid down in clause 2 of article 20 of
the Constitution is absent and therefore, the prohibition against double
jeopardy would not become operative.
In this view the two Courts below were
right in rejecting this plea of the accused.
This revision petition, therefore, fails and
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