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Bombay High CourtIndian Cases

Sadiq Ftehally vs Union Of India on 15 November 1991

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Bombay High Court
Sadiq Ftehally vs Union Of India on 15 November, 1991
Equivalent citations: 1992(58)ELT200(BOM)
Bench: S.H. Kapadia, S.P. Kurdukar

Kurdukar, J.

1. Rule returnable forthwith. Mr. Deodhar waives service for the respondents. By consent petition placed on board and called out for hearing.

2. It is common premise that the proceedings in respect of Show Cause Notice No. S/10-53/DRI/90 SIIB issued to the petitioner are pending before the Collector of Customs, Bombay. This show cause notice relates to alleged mis-declaration of the valuation of a car imported by the petitioner. During the course of enquiry it appears that report regarding C.C. from a Professor of I.I.T., Bombay was called for and the same has been received by the Collector. The petitioner applied to the Collector to make the said Professor available for cross-examination. The Collector vide his order dated 27-11-1990 asked the Professor, I.I.T., Bombay, to remain present for cross-examination. Later on Collector was informed by the I.I.T., Bombay, that the Professor of the I.I.T., Bombay will not be available for cross-examination. On the basis of this information, the Collector vide his letter dated 4th April 1991 (Ex. H) informed the petitioner :

in the circumstances of the case, the cross-examination of the Professor of the IIT, Bombay is not allowed.”
It is this letter which is sought to be impugned in this writ petition.

3. In our opinion, the Collector ought to have resorted to Section 108 of the Customs Act, 1962. It is within the powers of the Collector to summon any person whose attendance he considers necessary either to give evidence or to produce documents and prove the same during the enquiry. In the circumstance we direct the Collector of Customs, Bombay, to invoke Section 108 of the Customs Act, 1962, and call upon (summon) the Professor of I.I.T., Bombay, who has given C.C. report which is being relied upon by the respondent during enquiry.

4. In the result, writ petition succeeds. The communication dated 4th April 1991 (Ex. H) is quashed and set aside and Collector of Customs, Bombay, is directed to exercise powers under Section 108 of the Customs Act.

5. Rule is accordingly made absolute. No order as to costs.

6. Certified copy of the order if applied for, to be furnished within one week.