what is the difference between seizure and confiscation??
i understood that before confiscation, seizure has to be completed....is it right??
RAMESH KUMAR VERMA
( CS PURSUING )
Replied 02 November 2010
1. An officer of Customs can seize any goods, if he has reason to believe that the same are liable to confiscation, under the Customs Act. The proper officer may also seize any document or things that may be relevant to any proceedings under the Custom Act. However, the person from whom these documents are seized is entitled to make copies of the same.
2. The person from whom the goods are seized is issued a show cause notice, usually within six months. However, the Commissioner of Customs, on sufficient cause being shown, can extend the time period for issue of Show cause notice, by a further six months.
3. In case the seized goods are perishable or hazardous in nature or is prone to depreciate in value over time or for reasons of constraints in space, the government can notify these goods and these goods can be disposed off before the conclusion of the proceedings eg. All electronic goods, Currency, Liquors, P&P medicine, Gold, Silver etc.
1. The word ‘confiscation’ implies appropriation consequential to seizure. The essence and the concept of confiscation is that after confiscation, the property of the confiscated goods vests with the Central Government.
2. The adjudicating authority makes the decision regarding confiscation of goods. The specific/ different categories of violations under which the import or export goods are liable to confiscation, are enumerated in Section 111 and 113 of the Customs Act. In general, the goods that are attempted to be smuggled into or out of the country, by route other than land routes or is attempted to be cleared by way of misdeclaration in quantity, descripttion or value etc are liable to be confiscated. The import or exported goods are also liable to confiscation if there is an intention to evade Customs duty or to fraudulently avail the benefits available under various export promotion schemes, such as duty drawback, DEPB, 100% EOU etc.
Confiscation of Conveyances/ Packages & Their Contents
1. In additon to confiscation of Goods, the conveyances, i.e., vessels, aircrafts or vehicles, or animals that are used in the smuggling activities or in connection with fraudulent availment of drawback are liable to confiscation as per specific provisions in section 115 of the Customs Act. ( Tt is worth noting that the term " Smuggling", in Customs Act has vast connotations and it means " any act or omission which will render such goods liable for confiscation under section 111 or 113 of the Customs Act.)
2. In case the goods liable to confiscation are imported in a package, the package and its other contents, if any, are also liable to confiscation as per specific provisions in section 118 of the Customs Act.
Confiscation of goods used for concealing smuggled goods
3. The goods used for concealing smuggled goods are also liable to confiscation as per specific provisions in section 119 of the Customs Act.
Confiscation of smuggled goods notwithstanding any change in form, etc.
1. Smuggled goods may be confiscated even if its form has been changed. In case the smuggled goods with other goods in such a manner that the goods cannot be separated then the whole of goods are liable to be confiscated as per specific provisions in section 120 of the Customs Act.
Confiscation of sale proceeds of smuggled goods
2. There may be situations when the smuggled goods are sold off. In such a situation, the sale-proceeds thereof are also liable to confiscation as per specific provisions in section 121 of the Customs Act.
Penal Provisions under the Customs Act:
3. The word ‘penalty’ means punishment under the law, i.e., such punishment as is provided in penal laws. It also means the sum payable as a punishment for a default.
Replied 09 December 2010
THE difference between seizure and confiscation is given as under------
Seizure: i) The possession of the article/commodity gets vested in the hands of the duly authorised officer of the government. The ownership continuous to remain with the owner whose article is so seized in alleged violation of any law valid for the time in force;
ii) it is a preventive and precautionary step when there is reasonable suspicion;
iii) it is before confiscation of the article in question; and
iv) it does not of itself lead to any punishment if no contraction is proved. The owner is entitled to the sale proceeds even if the article is sold after seizure and prior to confiscation.
Confiscation: i) The possession as well as ownership of the article/commodity so seized gets vested in the government after the contravention of the law is proved — the owner is divested of ownership without payment of any compensation;
ii) it is adjudged after due process of the law;
iii) is after seizure of the article; and
iv) may also lead to both imprisonment and fine.