Eastron Overseas Inc., Mataji Enterprises & M/s. Celestial Enterprises by bill of entries dated 12.12.2011, 14.12.2011 and 7.12.2011 had asked the Commissioner of Customs at ICD, Tughlakabad, New Delhi to permit and allow import into India of the Data Graphic Display Tubes, which have been imported from Malaysia. It was claimed that these goods could be imported under the open general license.   The petitioner has filed the present writ petition in this Court alleging that the respondent custom authority is delaying the release of the said consignment by taking the plea that the goods imported were old and used and therefore, they are “Electronic Waste”. The petitioners have controverted the said plea and have submitted report of a chartered engineer in support. It is their contention that Data Graphic Display Tubes are not old tubes but are new tubes and they are not refurbished and reconditioned.  

  HIGH COURT OF DELHI

 Date of Decision: 28th February, 2012.

 W.P.(C) 721/2012 EASTRON ENTERPRISES INC

W.P.(C) 722/2012 MATAJI ENTERPRISES

W.P.(C) 723/2012 CELESTIAL ENTERPRISES

Versus

COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS ….. Respondent

 ORDER

SANJIV KHANNA,J: (ORAL)

As identical controversy arises for consideration in these three writ petitions, they are being disposed of by this common order.

2. Eastron Overseas Inc., Mataji Enterprises & M/s. Celestial Enterprises by bill of entries dated 12.12.2011, 14.12.2011 and 7.12.2011 had asked the Commissioner of Customs at ICD, Tughlakabad, New Delhi to permit and allow import into India of the Data Graphic Display Tubes, which have been imported from Malaysia. It was claimed that these goods could be imported under the open general license.

3. The petitioner has filed the present writ petition in this Court alleging that the respondent custom authority is delaying the release of the said consignment by taking the plea that the goods imported were old and used and therefore, they are “Electronic Waste”. The petitioners have controverted the said plea and have submitted report of a chartered engineer in support. It is their contention that Data Graphic Display Tubes are not old tubes but are new tubes and they are not refurbished and reconditioned.  

4. When these writ petitions came up for hearing on 6.2.2012, notice was issued for today’s date and it was directed that it is open to the respondents to undertake necessary tests. The respondents were also asked to pass appropriate order within reasonable time.

5. In the reply filed by the respondents, they have stated that as per the prevailing Import and Export Policy for the period 2009-2014, import of second hand goods except capital goods is restricted and special import license is required for import of second hand goods. Data Graphic Display Tubes are also covered by said restriction i.e. second hand data graphic display tubes require special import license. Counsel for the respondents has further stated that they have drawn samples and these have been sent to a testing laboratory for verification to decide whether or not the goods imported are new or second hand. Respondents have written a letter dated 17.2.2012 calling upon the petitioners to produce the manufacturing technical specification/ writer/ catalogue/ literature, etc. The respondents submit that they had obtained information from a chartered engineer, who has opined that the goods in question are old and second hand.

6. Ld. counsel for the petitioner submit that they have replied to the said letter saying that they do not have catalogue/literature and these were stock material. The contention of the petitioner is that the consignment are lying since December, 2011 and the delay is causing immense hardship and financial loss to the petitioners on account of demurrage and detention charges.

7. We need not examine and enter into the controversy on merits. The assessment order in original is yet to be passed. Adjudication has not taken place.

8. Keeping in view the facts of the present case and the delay which has occurred, it is directed that the respondent authority will pass an order-in-original determining whether the goods in question can be imported to India and the duty etc. payable thereon within a period of three weeks i.e. by 21st March, 2012.

Petitioner/authorized representative will appear before the adjudicating officer on 12th March, 2012 at 12.30 p.m. for further proceedings. With the aforesaid observations, the writ petition is disposed of. No costs.

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