KOCHI: Coming down heavily on the Commissioner of Customs, Kochi, for not complying with its order directing to release 24 consignments of photocopier machines seized by Customs at Kochi port, after charging redemption fine, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday served an ultimatum on the commissioner to do so by Friday noon, failing which he should appear before the court.
The court posted the case to Friday. The Division Bench headed by the Chief Justice issued the order on the petition filed by Atul Automations Pvt Ltd, Kolkata.
The allegation against the petitioner was that they imported multi-function devices - digital photocopiers and printers - in violation of various import regulations. Consequent to this, the Customs initiated proceedings for confiscation of goods and imposition of penalties.
Petitioner’s counsel P A Augustian said the High Court had directed the commissioner to release the goods, subject to payment of duty, redemption fine and penalty as ordered by the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, South Zonal bench in Bengaluru.
Though the Customs Department approached the Supreme Court challenging the order, it was dismissed.The Bench observed despite specific directive by the court on February 20, the authorities failed to release the goods.