M MOHAMED SULTHAN Vs. JOINT SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT OF INDIA FNANCEDEPARTMENTANDOTHERS
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
JOINT SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT OF INDIA,FINANCE DEPARTMENT
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S. C.Agrawal, J. -
(1.)In this writ petition the petitioner is seeking to challenge the validity of his detention on the basis of order dated December 12, 1989 passed under Section 3(l) of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') by the Joint Secretary to the Government of India.
(2.)The petitioner arrived at Madras International Airport on September 30, 1989 as a passenger from Singapore by Singapore Airlines Flight SQ 410. He was travelling under passport No. G 035015 in the name of Mohammed Ali. While he was waiting for customs clearance he was intercepted by an Air Intelligence Officer on suspicion that he might carry gold or any other contraband goods. He was questioned and he admitted having kept concealed gold bars in his body and volunteered to eject the same through his rectum. He was taken to the Gents' toilet situated in the arrival hall of' the Airport where he ejected two black colour adhesive tape bundles. On examination one bundle was found to contain 4 gold bars of 10 tolas each and the other bundle was found to contain 3 gold bars of 10 tolas each. All the gold bars were with foreign markings. The petitioner was not having any licence/ permit issued by the Reserve Bank of India Authorities for the import of gold and the seven gold bars were seized for action under Customs Act, 1962 read with Foreign Exchange Act, 1973.
(3.)The petitioner made a statement before the Customs Officer on September 30, 1989 wherein he stated that he was a labourer earning Rs. 25/- as daily wages and his monthly income was about Its. 350/- and since that income was not sufficient for maintenanec, he intended to go to Singapore with and view to earn more money and obtained a loan of Rs. 10,000/- from one Shri Pitchamuthu of Nagapattinam and with that money he purchased a ticket and left for Singapore on September 23, 1989 by Singapore Airlines Flight and stayed in the Pallivasal and in Singapore he developed friendship with one Majeed who promised that he would bear the cost of the air ticket amounting to Rs. 5,200/and would also pay a sum of Rs. 2,000/ - to the petitioner provided he carried the gold bars and other goods to India and handed over the same to his son Abumawthootha, and that the petitioner agreed for the same and accordingly on September 30,1989 Majeed gave him two black colour bundles containing gold bars and asked him to insert the same in his rectum and with the help of Majeed, the petitioner kept concealed the said two bundles in his rectum and landed at Madras Airport on September 30, 1989 with the gold bars kept secreted in his body and was intercepted by the Customs Officer and on questioning he admitted having kept concealed two bundles containing gold bars inside his body and volunteered to eject the same through his rectum and that he was taken to a Gents toilet where he ejected two bundles from his rectum. The petitioner made further statement before the Customs Officer on October 1, 1989 wherein he stated that his real name is Mohamed Sulthan and that he had wrongly mentioned his name as Mohamed Ali in his earlier statement on September 30, 1989.
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