MOHAN LAL PANDIT Vs. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS
LAWS(CAL)-1994-11-14
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on November 15,1994

MOHAN LAL PANDIT Appellant
VERSUS
COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS Respondents




JUDGEMENT

Ruma Pal, J. - (1.)The petitioner who has been carrying on the business is a Customs House Clearing Agent being licensed to do so issued under the Customs House Agents Licensing Regulations, 1984 (referred to as the Regulations) has challenged the revocation of his Licence by the Collector of Customs. The impugned order is dated 19-8-1994 and has been issued under the Regulations 21 (b) (c) read with Regulation 23(7) of the Regulations for violation of Regulations 14(d), (e), (1) and 28(7) by the petitioner.
(2.)The ground for challenge is that the impugned order has been passed in violation of the principles of natural justice and Regulation 23.
(3.)The incident in respect of which the petitioner's Licence has been revoked took place in February, 1994. The allegation of the Customs Authorities is that the petitioner in conspiracy with the exporter had attempted to illegally export rough sandalwood by misdeclaring the same to be "machine finished knife handles made of sandalwood" and "refuse for joss sticks". It is not necessary to consider the facts in detail in this application in so far as they relate to the merits of the allegations in this petition. Suffice it to say that the consignment was seized after examination on 25-02-1994. After an enquiry on 17-5-1994 a Memo was issued by the Collector of Customs alleging that on the basis of enquiry conducted and statements from various persons it was revealed that the petitioner and his employees had failed to discharge their responsibility/obligations cast on them by Regulation 14 of the Regulations amounting to gross misconduct within the meaning of that Regulation. An enquiry against the Firm M/s. Shaikh & Pandit and of which the petitioner claims to be the proprietor, Tushar Pandit and S.K. Jha being contemplated the Collector in exercise of powers vested on him under Regulation 21(2) of the Regulations ordered the suspension of the petitioner's Licence with immediate effect. It was also recorded that it was an appropriate case where immediate action was necessary.


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