S MOHANLAL Vs. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS
LAWS(CE)-1986-9-2
CUSTOMS EXCISE AND GOLD(CONTROL) APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
Decided on September 12,1986

Appellant
VERSUS
Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.)THIS appeal is directed against the order of the Collector of Customs, Bangalore dated 27.4.1985 imposing a penalty of Rs. 5 lakhs under Section 112 of the Customs Act, 1962 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act').
(2.)The officers attached to the D.R.I., Bangalore on the basis of information visited room No. 212, Gupta's Board and Lodge at Bangalore on 19.7.1982 at about 7 p.m. and found one O.P. Neema in' occupation of the same. On interrogation the said Neema admitted before the authorities that he was in possession of 15 pellets of gold and the authorities consequently recovered the same and found the inscription "CREDIT 999.0, SWISSE. 10 TOLAS, CHI, ASSAER, PONDEUR" on them. The gold pellets were totally found to weigh 1,749 gms. As the said Neema was not able to satisfactorily account for the licit acquisition and possession of the gold pellets with foreign markings, they were seized by the authorities under mahazar as per law. The said Neema gave a statement before the authorities on 19,7.82 that the gold pellets under seizure were intended to be delivered over to the appellant herein. The authorities also recovered a strip of paper from the said Neema containing the telephone number of the appellant's firm "Mutha and Company". It is in these circumstances after further investigation proceedings were instituted against the appellant and others, ultimately resulting in the present impugned order now appealed against.
Shri Jeshtmal, the learned counsel for the appellant submitted that there is absolutely no ray of evidence against the appellant connecting him in any way with the seizure of the foreign gold. It was urged that the entire case is sought to be rested on the basis of the statement recorded from O.P. Neema from whose possession the gold pellets with foreign markings were recovered by the authorities. It was urged that there is absolutely no evidence on record to even remotely indicate that the appellant had played any part at all or was in any way concerned with the gold pellets under seizure either before or after.

(3.)SHRI Krishna, the learned D.R. fairly conceded that the only evidence available against the appellant is the statement of O.P. Neema to the effect that the gold pellets under seizure was intended to be handed over to the appellant arid a strip of paper containing the telephone number of the appellant's firm. The learned D.R., however, submitted that since the said O.P. Neema did not retract his statement for a long time till after he gave a reply to the show cause notice, the statement can be accepted and acted upon.


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