Decided on August 30,1991



T.P. Nambiar, Member (J) - (1.) THE above captioned Appeals are filed by the appellant against the Order-in-Original No. 7/Cus/87(B), dated 7-12-1987 passed by the Collector of Customs (Preventive), Indo-Nepal Border, Patna. In terms of that order he imposed a penalty of Rs. 25,000/- under Section 111(d) of the Customs Act, 1962 and another sum of Rs. 25,000/- under the Gold (Control) Act, 1968, on the present appellant.
(2.) The facts of the case are that on the basis of information, on 20-3-1986 the Officers of the Central Excise of Allahabad intercepted the appellant and another person, namely, Gopal Das while they were handing over the railway tickets to the Ticket Collector. The case of the Department is that on search 16 gold biscuits of foreign origin valuing at Rs. 4 lakhs were recovered from the appellant as well as the other person. The Department alleged that 8 gold biscuits were recovered from the possession of the appellant which were concealed on his body. Thereafter the confessional statements of the appellant as well as Gopal Das were recorded. The appellant was produced before the Magistrate and the appellant was also remanded to judicial custody. A show cause notice was issued and the appellant's learned Advocate filed a reply to the show cause notice denying the allegations. It was also stated in the reply that the confessional statement was obtained under duress and threat and the appellant had several injuries on his person. Thereafter, according to the adjudicating authority, the notice of personal hearing was issued to the appellant and the appellant did not avail of the same. The case was decided ex parte. The learned Advocate Shri A. Ganguly, at the outset, submitted before us that as per the orders of stay passed by this Tribunal, the appellant had already deposited Rs. 5,000/- each towards the penalties imposed on the appellant. He first contended that the personal hearing notice was not served on the appellant and the appellant was undergoing detention under COFEPOSA Act. Secondly, he contended that the impugned order is not a speaking order and it had not taken into consideration the reply statement filed by the appellant. He drew our attention to the material portion of the impugned order in this regard.
(3.) THE learned Departmental Representative Shri M.N. Biswas stated that without reference to the records he cannot confirm whether the personal hearing notice was served on the appellant or not. Shri Biswas, however, stated that the personal hearing notice was issued and that the appellant was given a chance for personal hearing. He also contended that in the body of the order, several facts pertaining to the case of the appellant were narrated by the learned adjudicating authority. He also pointed out that the confessional statement of the appellant is very vivid and it contained a wealth of information. It was also contended that the appellant was examined on four different dates and on all the dates he confessed the guilt. In such circumstances, he contended that the orders may be confirmed.;

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