Decided on June 10,1960



P.B.Mukharji, J. - (1.) Civil Revision Case No. 3414 of 1958: This is an application under Article 226 of the Constitution for a writ of mandamus upon the Collector and Superintendent of Land Customs and the Union of India to withdraw the summons upon the petitioner under Section 171-A of the Sea Customs Act as applied to Land Customs.
(2.) The determination of this application depends on the actual terms of the summons which therefore will have to be set out in extenso. The summons reads as follows : "Whereas there are grounds for investigation being made in connection with an enquiry under Section 171-A of the Sea Customs Act 1878, and Whereas I consider your attendance before me necessary for (i) giving evidence. (ii) Producing documents of the following description duly explaining them with reference to the recorded transactions and etc. relating to your financial affairs as also of the firm M/S. Prasanna Poddar and Co. of 1/11, Garanhatta Street, of which you are a partner; (a) the document relating to the possession of the two gold bars seized from your custody on 25-8-58; (b) the documents relating to the transfer of assets and properties from East Pakistan; (c) the documents and accounts covering fully the purchase of different assets in India and of acquiring other financial interests in different companies, firms and etc.. (d) the records showing your income in India since the time of partition including share of the profit accruing from the different financial interest owned jointly with your brothers, sons or other relatives; (e) the documents and records showing the particulars of the employees, associate firms and persons connected with your financial affairs including their association with the firm M/S Prasanna Foddar and Co. of 1/11, Garanhatta Street of which you are the partner; (f) any other documents which are in your possession to show the business affairs of M/S Prasanna Poddar and Co. at 1/11, Garanhatta Street, vis-a-vis the interests of your other two brothers viz., Sharvashri Subodh Kumar Sen and Sunil Kumar Sen in the said firm, and also those relating to you and your brothers' share in the business done through Gold Jewellery firm in Dacca. Documents already seized after a search of your premises on 23-8-59 will be made available at the time of tendering evidence. Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers vested in me by Section 171-A of the Sea Customs Act, 1878, 1 do hereby summon you to appear before me in Customs House at 15/1, Strand Road, Calcutta on the fifth day of September, 1958 at 11 Hrs. for the purpose hereinabove mentioned. You are warned that giving false evidence in the proceedings is an offence punishable under Section 193 of the Indian Penal Code."
(3.) This summons is challenged on the following grounds: (1) that Section 171-A of the Sea Customs Act is ultra vires Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India. (2) that the summons requires evidence of documents not covered by Section 171-A of the Sea Customs Act; (3) that Section 171-A violates Section 178-A of the Sea Customs Act; (4) that details of the inquiry in which the evidence on documents is required to be produced have not been stated in the summons.;

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