24 June 2024


Judgments

High Court of Delhi

Veerendra Singh Vs. Union of India and Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:106-DB)

MANU/DE/0067/2024

08.01.2024

Customs

Statement recorded under Section 108 of the Customs Act is a material piece of evidence and can be used as substantive evidence

Present appeal is against impugned Order passed by the learned Joint Secretary to the Government of India under Section 129DD of the Customs Act, 1962, whereby, she has allowed the revision application preferred by the Revenue. By the impugned order, the Order-in-Original passed by the Adjudicating Authority, imposing penalty upon the petitioner, has been restored.

It is a settled law that, the statement recorded under Section 108 of the Customs Act is a material piece of evidence and can be used as substantive evidence. The statements recorded under Section 108 of the Customs Act in this case are consistent, the witnesses are supporting each other regarding the incident of recovery and such statements are further corroborated by the Panchnamas prepared at the spot which bear the signatures of the Petitioner as also the Panch Witnesses.

It is evident that, the learned Joint Secretary conducted a meticulous exercise to examine and appreciate the evidence on record in the light of the settled principles of law and came to a categorical finding that the guilt of petitioner who is accused of colluding and abetting in the smuggling of impugned goods is established. The findings of the learned Joint Secretary assume legally correct approach in the light of the deposition of the witnesses recorded under Section 108 of the Customs Act, duly corroborated by panchnamas of recovery.

Moreover, the High Court exercising power under the writ jurisdiction cannot assume unlimited prerogative to correct all species of hardship or wrong decisions. This exercise must be restricted to grave dereliction of duty and flagrant abuse of fundamental principles of law and justice. The jurisdiction which the High Court exercises in the writs is neither original nor appealable. It is administrative and supervisory in nature. In the present writ petition, Petitioner is assailing the impugned order passed in revision on the basis of appreciation of evidence only. The High Court while exercising the power under the writ jurisdiction cannot normally substitute its own conclusion.There is no merit in the present writ petition. Petition dismissed.

Tags : Penalty Imposition Legality

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