Customs – Cestat Kolkata: Penalty cannot be demanded as there is no corroborative evidence on record in support of the statement made before DRI Officers – Revenue appeal dismissed [Order attached]
Order Date – 06 February 2023
Parties: Commissioner of Customs (Preventive), Kolkata Vs Shri Amit Jalan and Shri Ashok Kumar Jalan
- The Respondents, Shri Amit Jalan and Shri Ashok Kumar Jalan, were taken into custody by DRI on 10.06.2019 from Quest Mall and was illegally detained by DRI, consequence to the interception of 8 k.g. of gold along with Rs.24,000/- on 09.06.2016.
- Respondents were made to make a statement in various papers and documents reflecting their voluntary statements. It was alleged that the Respondents had admitted to have been involved in several smuggling activities including the one seized on 09.06.2019.
- A Show Cause Notice dated 29.11.2019 was issued proposing penalty in terms of Section 112(a) and/or (b) of the Customs Act, 1962, which was dropped by the Ld. Commissioner (Appeals)
- Whether the appellants are liable to pay the penalty imposed penalty in terms of Section 112(a) and/or (b) of the Customs Act, 1962?
- The Tribunal held that in view of instructions issued by the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, Central Board of Excise & Customs F.No.390/Misc./163/2010-JC dated 17.12.2015, the revenue involved in the Appeals are nil as Commissioner (Appeals) has not imposed any penalty on the Respondents.
- Further, the statements recorded by the DRI dated 10.06.2019 and 11.06.2019 which were retracted by the Respondents on the first opportunity available on 12.06.2019 before the Ld.CMM, Kolkata, no other corroborative evidence has been brought on record.
- Hence it was held that the Ld. Commissioner (Appeals) has rightly dropped the penalty against the Respondents as there is no corroborative evidence on record in support of the statement made before DRI Officers which were retracted on first available opportunity before the Ld. CMM and no cross-examination of any witness has been granted to the Respondents.