ASSISTANT COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS FOR APPRAISEMENT Vs. MERCANTILE EXPRESS CO LTD
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
ASSISTANT COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, FOR APPRAISEMENT
MERCANTILE EXPRESS CO. LTD.
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Bachawat, J. -
(1.) This is an appeal from an order under Article 220 of the Constitution. The respondents imported a quantity of Armco Nestable Steel Culverts complete with accessories required by the Government of Assam under an import license issued to the Chief Engineer, Public Works Department, Assam. The respondents duly submitted a bill of entry in accordance with Section 29 of the Sea Customs Act, 1878 (Act VIII of 1878) stating the real value, quantity and description of the goods. They contend that the goods are assessable to customs duty under item 63(9) o the first schedule to the Indian Tariff Act, 1934 (Act XXXII of 1934). By an order dated the 30th June, 1955 the Assistant Collector of Customs for Appraisement rejected the respondents' contention and assessed the duty under item 63(28) of the first schedule to Act XXXII of 1934. The duty so assessed amounts to Rs. 73315/8/-. The respondents appealed to the Collector of Customs, Calcutta. Pending the appeal they deposited the sum of Rs. 73315/8/- with the Collector of Customs under protest as required by Section 189 of the Sea Customs Act. By an order dated the 11th July, 1955, the Collector of Customs dismissed the appeal.
(2.) On the 8th September, 1955, the respondents applied to D. N. Sinha, J., under Article 226 of the Constitution for appropriate writs setting aside the orders of the customs authorities and for consequential reliefs and obtained a rule calling upon the Assistant Collector of Customs for Appraisement, the Collector of Customs, Calcutta and the Union ot India to show cause why the reliefs prayed for should not be granted. By an order dated the 30th April, 1958, P. B. Mukharji, J., made the rule absolute, set aside both the orders dated the 30th June, 1955 and the llth July, 1955, issued a writ in the nature of certiorari quashing the two orders and a writ in the nature of mandamus directing .the appellants to forbear from giving effect to those orders and directed the customs authorities to proceed according to law to assess the goods under item 63(9) and to make a refund to the respondents, if on such assessment any money becomes refundable to them. The customs authorities and the Union of India have preferred an appeal from this order.
(3.) In this Court Mr. Kar contended that the impugned orders are administrative, and not quasi-judicial orders and as such the Court has no power to issue a writ in the nature of certiorari to quash them. This contention was not raised in the trial court.;
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