A Division Bench comprising of GS Patel and Nootan D. Sardessai, JJ., heard a petition challenging the order of the Additional Commissioner of Customs, Marmagoa, because of which the petitioners had been arrested on arrival at the Dabolim Airport when they arrived in Goa from Dubai. The petitioners’ contention was that though they were carrying gold, they did not mean to smuggle it or it was in no way contraband. They were arrested even before they could reach the customs desk to declare their goods.
Since there had been some confusion as to the when the passports had been seized and whether the petitioners had been given customs declarations forms or not, they had sought production of CCTV footage to establish their case. However, the authority had rejected the request stating that the footage had not been relied upon by the Revenue. The Court held that the accused is not bound by the material that is relied upon by the Revenue. “It may happen that some of the documents that the accused require are in physical possession, custody or control of the Revenue or of other authorities. That evidence cannot be shut out or kept from the Petitioners on the ground that the Revenue has not relied on it.”
The Court also made it clear that the matter would be considered afresh once the footage was made available. [Shalu Chadha v. Additional Commissioner of Customs, Writ Petition 485 of 2017, dated 06-09-2017]