Decided on May 04,1995

Narayan Das Bhaiya Appellant
Union Of Indian And Others Respondents


Mukul Gopal Mukherji, J. - (1.)The present writ application praying inter alia for a writ in the nature of Habeas Corpus for securing the release of the petitioner's son Govardhan Das Bhaiya, the detenu arrested on Jan. 11, 1995 on the strength of an order of detention bearing No. 673/2/95-Cus. VIII dated 5.1.95 passed by the Joint Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue under Sec. 3(1) of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974. The writ application seeks a declaration to the effect that the impugned order of detention is ultra vires to the Constitution of India and/or the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act and as such being illegal and invalid, is liable to be quashed. The writ application further seeks an order upon the respondent authorities including the Superintendent Presidency Jail to set at liberty the detenu Govardhan Das Bhaiya forthwith
(2.)The order of detention dated 5th Jan., 1995 gives out inter alia that with a view to preventing the detenu from smuggling activities in future, it is necessary to pass the order of detention. The grounds of detention dated 5.1.95 served on the detenu on Jan. 13, 1995 in Presidency Jail give out inter alia, that acting on an intelligence report to the effect that M/s. R.S.I. Engineering Pvt. Ltd. of 1, Bishop Lefroy Road, Calcutta-700020 had been violating the condition of value based Advance Licence Scheme by disposing of the exempt materials without fulfilling the export obligation, a truck bearing No. WBI 8227 loaded with 170 bags of plastic granules of 25 kgs. each made in Korea was intercepted near the godown of a transport company M/s. Raipur Calcutta Road Carriers at 14A, Gangadhar Babu Lane, Calcutta on 14th Feb. 1994 by the Officers of Preventive General Branch. Thirty bags of plastic granule goods were also found in the godown of the said transport company. On demand neither the driver of the truck nor the representative of the transport company could produce any licit documents in support of legal importation /possession and/or acquisition of the goods of foreign origin so recovered from the truck and also from the said godown, excepting a road challan dated 14.2.94 of M/s. B.D. Mall of 12, Pathuria Ghata Street, Calcutta-6 addressed to M/s. S.K. Agarwal of 14A, Gangadhar Babu Lane, Calcutta covering 200 bags of plastic granules.
(3.)The grounds further give out that on enquiry both M/s. B.D. Mall and M/s. S.K. Agarwal as appeared in the road challan with the respective addresses were found to be fictitious. The goods covering 200 bags so recovered from the truck and also from the godown were collectively valued at Rs. 1,30,000.00 and they were seized on the basis of "a reason to believe that they were smuggled into India and were liable to confiscation under the Customs Act, 1962". A search list was prepared in respect of the goods seized a copy of which was made over to the driver of the truck and also to one Sri Raj Kumar Kejrewal of the said transport company under receipt. The truck bearing No. WBI 8227 was also seized.

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