Importer will not be held responsible for bearing the cost of inordinate delay which was condoned by Authorities

Punjab and Haryana High Court: While deciding the case of detainment of imported goods of petitioner for the inordinate period by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) or the customs authorities, the Bench of Rajesh Bindal and Harinder Singh Sidhu, JJ, said that the importing company cannot be burdened to incur unnecessary detention and demurrage charges if the delay is condoned by the Port Authority.

The imported goods of petitioner was detained by the Authorities and DRI also requested Commissioner of Customs (Import), Mumbai, for putting on hold the imported consignment of the petitioner as well as five other importers based in Ludhiana till the time they do not obtain the NOC from the said Authority. Even the good imported by the petitioner were not of prohibited nature. The petitioner made several requests to the Authorities that the goods are incurring detention and demurrage charges but he was left unheard by the authorities, so he approached the  High Court.

In the light of given facts and conditions the Court ordered the DRI and Custom Authority that the petitoner should not be held liable for the delay which was condoned by the Authority and thereby the Court also said that the Authorities will be liable to bear the cost of inordinate delay. [Shri Lakshmi Steels v. Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine P&H 12111), decided on December 23, 2016]

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