Decided on June 29,1977

M.M Shafullah Respondents


KEMALUDDIN HOSSAIN,J. - (1.) In this appeal an interpretation of S. 167(9B) of the Sea Customs Act is involved. The facts leading to the question in appeal are that M.M. Shafiullah, the firm respondent, the sole proprietor of a firm at Khulna deals with agricultural machineries and implements, was granted an important licence worth several lakhs of rupees for importing Japanese Power trillers and accessories. He opened a letter of credit with the Mercantile Bank Limited, Dacca, for Rs. 7,00,000/- (rupees seven Lakh), for import of power trillers. He placed orders with a firm at Hong Kong, and in course of time, certain consignment arrived at the Chittagong port. The clearing Agents of the respondent submitted a bill of entry stating therein the particulars of the consignment contained power trillers valued at Rs. 6,98,703/-. It has however, found that at the time of delivery of the consignment that, it contained birth tubes worth Rs. 5.500/- only, instead of power tillers. Thereupon, the Collector of Customs imposed penalty of rupees ten lakhs on the first respondent under section 167(9B) of the Sea Customs Act. The first respondent then filed a writ petition in the High Court of East Pakistan challenging the validity of the order of penalty.
(2.) A Bench of the High Court took the view that the penalty under section 167(9B) of the Act, can not exceed one thousand rupees or three times the value of the goods actually imported, whichever is greater and, so allowed the writ petition, and declared that the penalty of rupees ten lakhs, to the extent that it exceeded three times the value of the imported bath-tubs, to be without lawful authority. The appeal is directed against the order of the High Court.
(3.) Mr. Attorney-General has appeared for the appellant, and none for the principal respondent Mr. Aminul Huq, Advocate-on-record for the Respondent 2 and Mr. Altaf Hossain, counsel for respondent 3, have submitted that they have no concern with the appeal, and have prayed for costs for being unnecessarily impleaded in the appeal.;

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