Gauhati High Court: A Division Bench of Ajai Lamba, C.J. and Achintya Malla Bujor Barua, J., ordered the Customs department to speed up the process of testing the seized consignment and costs to be deducted from the salary of the concerned persons if the process of the Court was delayed any further.
The Customs Authority was ordered to ascertain whether the biosecurity requirement of the Country had been satisfied in respect of the seized areca nuts, and a report was to be submitted by them. For this purpose, it was directed that the Customs authorities/DRI Guwahati shall take possession of some samples of the areca nuts which were with the Police authorities of Assam.
The Customs Authorities/DRI, Guwahati were required to comply with the aforementioned order, however, their response was absolutely lukewarm towards the direction issued by the Court. Since the Customs Department had been enjoined with the duty of complying with the order, the needful was required to be done at all costs.
Considering the conduct of the respondents, the Court by order notified the Customs Department that in case active steps were not taken; and representative samples were not collected from all the 26 trucks and not forwarded to the Laboratory, cost in the sum of Rs 20,000 would be deducted from the salary of the Additional Director General, Customs, Guwahati for delaying the process of the Court. This direction was issued considering that the recovered articles were perishable in nature. [Ali Trading v. State of Assam, 2019 SCC OnLine Gau 5133, decided on 15-11-2019]