Contempt notice to Customs officials for defying HC order

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Mumbai, Jan 7 (PTI) The Bombay High Court has issued a contempt of court notice to three Customs officials for the failure to release a consignment of yellow peas from China despite the court's orders.

A division bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Abhay Ahuja was hearing a petition filed by Raj Grow Impext LLP challenging the order passed by the Commissioner of Customs (Appeals) confiscating the consignment.

It had also filed a contempt of court petition.

The firm's lawyer Sujay Kantawala pointed out that on October 15, 2020, the high court had ordered the customs authorities to release the goods.

The court in its order on Wednesday said that on the face of it, the directions of Customs Commissioner (Appeals), Mumbai Zone-1 were 'totally in contravention to the order of this court'.

'When the high court had directed release of the goods forthwith, it is beyond comprehension as to how a lower appellate authority can nullify such direction by ordering absolute confiscation of the goods,' the bench said.

It directed release of the goods immediately.

It also issued notice to Commissioner (Appeals) Manoj Kedia, deputy commissioner Ram Nath Purohit and assistant commissioner K K Sharma, seeking to know why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them.

They are to file replies by January 21. PTI SP KRK KRK