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Report No. 47

VII. Customs Act

Re-draft of section 123(1).1

123. (1) Where any goods to which this section applies-

(a) are seized under this Act in the reasonable belief that they are smuggled goods; or

(b) are proved to have been in the possession of any person before such seizure. the burden of proving that they are not smuggled goods shall be on the person from whose possession the goods were seized or in whose possession they are proved to have been before the seizure, as the case may be."

1. See para. 15.22 of the Report.

Redraft of section 135, Customs Act, 1962.1

135. Evasion of duty or prohibition.-

Without prejudice to any action that may be taken under this Act, if any person-

(a) is in relation to any goods in any way knowingly concerned in any fraudulent evasion or attempt at evasion of any duty chargeable thereon or of any prohibition for the time being imposed under this Act, or any other law for the time being in force with respect to such goods, or

(b) acquires possession of or is in any way concerned in carrying, removing, depositing, harbouring, keeping, concealing, selling or purchasing or in any other manner dealing with any goods which he knows or has reason to believe are liable to confiscation under section 111, he shall be punishable-

(i) in the case of an offence relating to any of the goods to which section 123, applies and the market price whereof exceeds one lakh of rupees or in the case of a second at subsequent conviction for an offence under this Act, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, and with fine:

Provided that in the absence of special and adequate reasons to the contrary to be recorded in the judgment of the court, such imprisonment shall not be less than six months:

Provided further that where the person convicted, has, as a result of the offence, made any illegal gain the court shall, in the absence of special and adequate reasons to the contrary to be recorded in the judgment of the court, sentence him to fine not less than the amount of such gain.

(ii) in any other case, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both".

1. See para. 15.78 of the Report.

Section to be inserted in the Customs Act.1

135A. If a person makes preparation to commit an offence under this Act, and from the circumstances of the case it may, be reasonably inferred that if not prevented by circumstances independent of his will, he is determined to carry out his intention to commit the offence, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for three years, or with fine, of with both".

1. See para. 15.20 of the Report.

Section to be inserted in the Customs Act.1

135B. Public censure.- (1) When any person is convicted of an offence under this Act, it shall be competent to the court before which the conviction takes place to cause the offender's name and place of residence, the offence and, the punishment imposed to be published at the offender's expense in such newspapers or in such other manner as the court may direct.

(2) The expenses of such publication shall be recoverable from the offender in the same manner as a fine".

1. See para. 15.82 of the Report.

Revised section 137(1).

137. (1) No court shall take cognizance of an offence under section 132, section 133, section 134 or section 135, except with the previous sanction of the Collector of Customs or any other officer authorised by the Central Government in this behalf"

1. See para. 15.82 of the Report.

Re-draft of section 139, Customs Act1

139. Where any document is produced by any person under this Act or has been seized under this Act or under any other law from the custody or control of any person or received from any place outside India in the course of any investigation against any person, and such document is tendered by the prosecution in evidence, against him or against any other person, the court shall,-

(a) unless the contrary is proved, presume

(i) the truth of the contents of such documents;

(ii) that the signature and every other part of such document which purports to be in the handwriting of any particular person or which the court may reasonably assume to have been signed by, or to be in the handwriting of, any particular person, is in that person's handwriting, and in the case of a document executed or attested that it was executed or attested by the person by whom it purports to have been so executed or attested;

(b) admit the document in evidence, notwithstanding that it is not duly stamped, if such document is otherwise admissible in evidence."

1. See paras. 12.2 to 12.4, 15.30 and 15.89 or the Report.



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