VASANT NANAJI UPLANCHWAR Vs. GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, MINISTRY OF FINANCE
LAWS(SC)-2002-4-185
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on April 04,2002

Vasant Nanaji Uplanchwar Appellant
VERSUS
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, MINISTRY OF FINANCE Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.)The only basis upon which we can interfere is that in the criminal proceedings relating to the seizure of the gold from the premises of the appellants, the High Court had come to the conclusion that the gold was in the form of ornaments whereas in the order under challenge, the same gold has been treated as primary gold susceptible to seizure.
(2.)Our attention has been invited to the definition of 'ornament' in Section 2(p) of the Gold (Control) Act, 1968 . It reads thus :
"2.(p) 'ornament' means a thing, in a finished form, meant for personal adornment or for the adornment of any idol, deity or any other object of religious worship, made of, or manufactured from, gold, whether or not set with stones or gems (real or artificial), or with pearls (real, cultured or imitation) or with all or any of them, and includes parts, pendants or broken pieces of ornament.

Explanation - For the purposes of this Act, nothing made of gold, resembles an ornament, shall be deemed to be an ornament unless the thing (having regard to its purity, size, weight, description or workmanship) is such as is commonly used as ornament in any State or Union Territory."

(3.)Reliance is placed on the Explanation and the evidence that what was seized was commonly used as ornaments in the area of the seizure. This was the basis upon which the High Court in the criminal proceedings had held in favour of the appellants. The High Court there did not take note of the fact that under Section 2(p), an ornament was a thing in a finished form and that only such finished article would be construed to be an ornament within the meaning of the Explanation. There is evidence on record to show that the gold that was seized was not in finished form. It could not, therefore, be said to constitute ornaments.


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