Decided on August 29,1996



Tarun Chatterjee, J. - (1.)In or about March, 1993 the writ petitioners in the name of "Nathmal Girdharilall" participated in the sale of various items conducted by the Customs authorities after taking inspection of various materials under different items including 300 MT M.S. Angles under Item No. 392 lying at 3 and 4 Garden Reach Jetty (in short called G.R.J.). At the auction the offer of the writ petitioner for various items under lot numbers 369,371,377,378, 382,389, 391 and 392 were accepted by the Customs Authorities as the highest one. There is no dispute in respect of other lots excepting the lot No. 393. In respect of lot No. 393 a sum of Rs. 1.62 per kg. was accepted by the Customs authorities. Consideration was paid in full but because of an interim order passed by this Court in the writ jurisdiction the delivery could not be made.
(2.)A writ application was moved in respect of the aforesaid lot including lots mentioned hereinabove on the ground that although the offer had been accepted and money had been paid, there was non-delivery of the lots in question to the writ petitioner. So far as lot No. 392 is concerned, it appears that the said lot was sold at the rate of Rs. 7,000/- per M.T. The writ petitioner by a letter dated 1-10-1993 intimated the Collector of Customs that although lot Nos. 389, 391, 392, 371 and 372 were allotted to them and earnest money was paid for all the five items as mentioned hereinabove no delivery order was given to the writ petitioner. In the said letter which is annexure 'C' to the writ application it was prayed that how much money the writ petitioner would have to pay so that they could get the delivery order at an earliest.
(3.)Finally, by a letter dated 4-1-1996 the writ petitioner wrote to the Assistant Commissioner of Customs enclosing therewith the pay orders. In the said letter the writ petitioner prayed for delivery of the aforesaid goods in respect of lot No. 392 as mentioned hereinabove within a very short time. It is now an admitted position that certain lots which, according to the Customs authorities were lying in the GRJ, were offered to the writ petitioner to take delivery of the same. According to the writ petitioner, after inspecting the goods it was found that they were rusted and corroded and, as such, they were not in a position to take delivery of the goods which were offered by the Customs authorities to them and also by the Calcutta Port Trust authorities. Subsequent to this an advertisement had been caused by the Calcutta Port Trust authorities (hereinafter called as CPT) for sale by auction of certain lots, the particulars of which have been mentioned in the supplementary affidavit filed by the CPT. When these goods were going to be sold in auction on the basis of such advertisement this writ application was moved by the writ petitioner praying for a direction upon the respondents that in view of the deposit of the aforesaid amount with the Customs authority question of sale by public auction of those goods could not arise at all as on the deposit of the aforesaid sum with the Customs authorities the writ petitioners have become the owner of the said lots.

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