Decided on August 17,1983

R.K.AGGARWAL Appellant


Charanjit Talwar, J. - (1.)On 10th August, 1983, after hearing the learned counsel for the parties I quashed the impugned order of detention dated 22nd April, 1933, and directed that the detenu be set at liberty forthwith. I had stated then that I would give my reasons later which I do presently.
(2.)The detenu Mohinder Kumar Aggarwal was detained by the aforesaid order of the Administrator of the Union Territory of Delhi under Sections 3(1) read with Section 2(f) of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974, (hereinafter to be referred to as COFEPOSA') "with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the conservation and augmentation of foreign exchange and also preventing him from smuggling goods viz., diamonds out of India".
(3.)The grounds of detention dated 23rd April, 1983, were served upon him on the very day. Briefly the facts disclosed in the grounds are that on the night of 16/17-12-1982 the detenu was booked to travel to Bangkok by flight No. Alitalia AZ 1790 on Thai Airways ticket. On his reporting for customs clearance his baggage on examination was found to contain amongst his personal clothes three card hoard boxes of sweets. weighing approximately I kg. each. One of the card board boxes containing Khoya sweet on being emptied was found to contain at its bottom a blue colour small paper packet which on opening was found to contain 5 small paper packets duly fixed with adhesive tape. These paper packets contained 6 pieces of diamonds. On weighment total weight of those pieces was found to be 15.75 carats. The value of the same was estimated to be at rupees two lacs. As the detenu could not produce any export permit covering the export of the said diamonds those were seized under Section 110 of the Customs Act, 1962 (herein called 'the Act') under the reasonable belief that the same were liable to confiscation. In his statement recorded under Section 108 of the Act the detenu stated that he was staying with his father at Delhi who was running a business of Gems and Jewellery at 1088, Maliwara, Delhi-6 in the name and style of M/s Aggarwal Jewellers and that one of his brothers Kailash Chand was staying in Hong kong for the last 4-5 years and was doing business of imports and exports of Gems and Jewellery in the name of M/s D.D.G. Ltd., 10-A Manson Commercial Building 12Jublie Street, Hongkong. In his statement the detenu admitted that he had concealed the packet containing the diamonds in the box containing Khoya sweets and that he was smuggling those out of India to Bangkok. The detenu stated that during his frequent visits to Bangkok to finalise a deal for opening a restaurant there he had met one P.S. Narula of Bangkok, Telephone No. 4654578 to whom he offered to pay commission for helping him (the detenu) in disposing of the diamonds which he would be smuggling to Bangkok. This offer was accepted by Narula, who came to India on 7th December, 1982, for finalising the scheme to smuggle the diamonds. On 8th December, 1982, the diamonds were purchased through Banwari Lal Dalal, and were shown to Narula who told him (the detenu) that those would fetch very good profit in Bangkok; that at that time the father of the detenu, Bhola Ram and his brother Ram Autar were also present. Thereafter, Narula went back to Bangkok. Those were the diamonds which were recovered at the time of customs clearance when the detenu was proceeding to Bangkok.

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