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Trade notices issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, restricting the import of certain beans, peas, and pulses

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Court :
Supreme Court of India

Brief :
In this set of appeals, the Union of India and the authorities related with customs have questioned the orders dated 15.10.2020 and 05.01.2021, passed by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay in Writ Petition (L) Nos. 3502-3503 of 2020 and Writ Petition (ST) No. 24 of 2021 respectively. The appellants are essentially aggrieved of the directions issued by the High Court for compliance of the orders-in-original dated 28.08.2020 passed by the Additional Commissioner of Customs, Group-I,Mumbai and consequently, for release of the goods imported by the private respondents though the goods in question are, according to the appellants, liable to absolute confiscation.

Citation :
CIVIL APPEAL NO(s). 2217-2218 of 2021

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO(s). 2217-2218 of 2021
(Arising out of SLP(C) Nos. 14633-14634 of 2020)

UNION OF INDIA & ORS. .….APPELLANT(S)

 VERSUS

M/S. RAJ GROW IMPEX LLP & ORS. ….RESPONDENT(S)

WITH

Civil Appeal No. 2219 of 2021 @ SLP(C) No. 1037 of 2021

JUDGMENT

Dinesh Maheshwari, J.

Contents

Preliminary and brief outline................2
The parties and their respective interests in the matter.......10
Relevant factual aspects and background...............14
Judgment dated 26.08.2020 of this Court in Agricas.........20
Orders-in-original dated 28.08.2020: The Adjudicating Authority allows
release of goods on payment of redemption fine............26
Immediate sequels to the orders-in-original................31
The order dated 15.10.2020 and its modification dated 09.12.2020: The
High Court issues mandamus for release of goods.......................39
Orders dated 24.12.2020 by the Appellate Authority: Orders-in-original set
aside with enhancement of penalty.............48
Another round in High Court: Challenge to the order-in-appeal dated
24.12.2020 and stay order by the High Court dated 05.01.2021..........56
Rival submissions............59
Points for determination.................77
Legality and validity of the orders passed by the High Court..........78
Whether the goods in question are of ‘prohibited goods’ category?...........90
Whether the goods in question are liable to absolute confiscation?...........99
Invocation of equity by the importers.........115
Prayer for keeping issues open for statutory appeal..........116
Incidentally: principles relating to the grant or refusal of interim relief.......118
Summation............122
Conclusions and directions........123

Preliminary and brief outline

Leave granted.

2. In this set of appeals, the Union of India and the authorities related with customs have questioned the orders dated 15.10.2020 and 05.01.2021, passed by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay in Writ Petition (L) Nos. 3502-3503 of 2020 and Writ Petition (ST) No. 24 of 2021 respectively. The appellants are essentially aggrieved of the directions issued by the High Court for compliance of the orders-in-original dated 28.08.2020 passed by the Additional Commissioner of Customs, Group-I,Mumbai and consequently, for release of the goods imported by the private respondents though the goods in question are, according to the appellants, liable to absolute confiscation.

2.1. Looking to the subject-matter of the present appeals involving a multitude of issues and several of the background aspects, we may profitably draw a brief outline and sketch of the matter at the outset.

3. The genesis of the present litigation lies in the notifications issued by the Central Government under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992  as also the consequential trade notices issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade , making provisions for restricting the import of certain beans, peas and pulses.

3.1. In the preceding years, such notifications and trade notices were put to challenge in different High Courts by way of writ petitions wherein, different interim orders were passed and the importers effected various imports on the strength of such interim orders. However, the said writ petitions were ultimately dismissed by the High Courts and one petition seeking special leave to appeal was also dismissed by this Court. Similar notifications and trade notice issued in the subsequent year, on restriction of import of certain beans, peas and pulses, were again challenged in different High Courts and, notwithstanding the rejection of a similar challenge in the past by other High Courts, various interim orders were again passed; and the importers again proceeded to effect various imports under the cover of such interim orders.

To know more in details find the attachment file
 

 

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on 23 June 2021
Published in LAW
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