C D GEORGE Vs. ASSTT COMMISSIONER OF CENTRAL EXCISE TRICHUR
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: KERALA)
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF CENTRAL EXCISE,TRICHUR
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(1.)The Gold (Control) Act was enacted in the year 1968 with the object of control of the production, supply, use and possession of and business in gold ornaments and articles of gold in the interest of economic and financial interests of the community. S. 27 of the Act lays down that no person shall commence, or carry on, business as a dealer unless he holds a valid licence issued under the provisions of the Act and the said licence should be in the prescribed form. S. 27(7)(b) lays down that a licensed dealer shall not carry on the business as such dealer in any premises other than the premises specified in, his licence. S. 4(h) defines 'dealer' as one who carries on the business of making, preparing, polishing, buying, selling, supplying, processing or converting gold, whether for cash or for deferred payment or for commission, remuneration or other consideration.
(2.)The appellant before us was one such licensed dealer having a shop in a building, which is four-storeyed, bearing Municipal No. 25 /A/ 1479 on the Municipal Road, Trichur (Kerala). The showroom where the actual day-to-day business is conducted is in the ground floor. On 23-9-81 Superintendent of Central Excise, examined as P.W. 1, raided the shop of the appellant and conducted a search. Books of accounts maintained by the appellant were verified and it was found that there was a stock of 1372 pieces of gold ornaments. The search party found 169 pieces of new gold ornaments in the third floor of the building weighing 667.850 grams kept in a card-board box. They were seized. On further investigation conducted by the officer it was also revealed that the appellant's brother, his business associate, had purchased some items of jewellery from another dealer and had also kept the same in the said licensed premises. A complaint was preferred against the appellant alleging that he has unaccounted jewellery and that he was carrying on the business in the third floor which he is not a licensed premises.
(3.)The trial Court framed charges under S. 27(7)(b) read with S. 85(l)(a) and S. 55(3) of The Gold (Control) Act and necessary evidence was adduced. Failure to maintain the necessary accounts as a dealer is punishable under S. 55(3) and carrying on business in a premises other than the premises specified in the licence is punishable under S. 27(7)(b). The appellant inter alia took the plea that he is carrying on the business of gold only in the ground floor and the items therein have been accounted for including the items that were found in the third floor. He also took the plea that he sold these items to a customer and separated them and kept them in the third floor for the purpose of delivering the same to the purchaser and that the third floor also formed part of the licensed premises.
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