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Arrest under Customs Act to be only under exceptional cases where value exceeds Rs 50L

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New Delhi, Aug 17:  The CBIC has issued revised guidelines for Arrest and Bail in relation to offences punishable under the Customs Act, 1962.

While the Act does not specify any value limits for exercising the powers of arrest, it is clarified that arrest in respect of an offence, should be effected only in exceptional situations which have been outlined in the circular.

These include cases involving unauthorised importation in baggage/cases under Transfer of Residence Rules, where the market value of the goods involved is Rs 50 lakh or more.

Cases of outright smuggling of high value goods such as precious metal, restricted items or prohibited items or goods notified under Section 123 of the Customs Act, 1962 or offence involving foreign currency where the value of offending goods is Rs 50 lakh or more.

This also includes cases related to importation of trade goods (i.e. appraising cases) involving wilful mis-declaration in description of goods with a view to import restricted or prohibited items and where the market value of the offending goods is Rs 2 crore or more.

Similarly, it is applicable to cases involving fraudulent evasion or attempt at evasion of duty involving Rs 2 crore or more.

In cases involving fraudulent availment of drawback or attempt to avail of drawback or any exemption from duty provided under the Customs Act, 1962, in connection with export of goods, if the amount of drawback or exemption from duty is Rs 2 crore or more.

It also applies to cases involving obtaining an instrument from any authority by fraud, collusion, wilful misstatement or suppression of facts and utilisation of such instrument where the duty relatable to such utilisation of the instrument is Rs 2 crore or more.

The above criteria of value mentioned would not apply in cases involving offences relating to items i.e. FICN, arms, ammunitions and explosives, antiques, art treasures, wild life items and endangered species of flora and fauna.

In such cases, arrest, if required, on the basis of facts and circumstances of the case, may be considered irrespective of value of offending goods involved, the circular said.

IANS

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