Release yellow metal seized from businessman, HC tells customs

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HYDERABAD: The High Court directed the customs authorities to release seized 155-kilogram gold granules, imported by the city-based RK Digital Solution, so that firm can export it back to Indonesia. Stung by directive, customs officials are mulling over options to either appeal or release gold valued Rs 51 crore.

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On May 12, 155-kilogram gold granules were seized at the Air Cargo terminal in Shamshabad. customs authorities contended that only the nominated banks and the agencies notified by (DGFT) Directorate General of Foreign Trade can import yellow metal and not the private companies. In the month of June, RK Digital Solutions filed a petition in High Court, requesting the high court to direct customs authorities to release the yellow metal. Later, they filed an application, seeking amendment of prayer, to re-export seized yellow metal to Indonesia.

In their counter-affidavit, customs officials stated that in event RK Digital Solutions was permitted to re-export yellow metal granules, High Court should provide sufficient safeguards to protect interests of revenue that might arise at end of the investigation. High Court asked customs counsel what would be the interests of the revenue that could possibly arise and what kind of the safeguards would be needed. The customs counsel said that no show-cause the notice was issued to yellow metal importer with regard to seized consignments.

In its order on 24 July, High Court stated, “We are of opinion that without the show-cause notice being issued with regard to confiscation of properties or for redemption on payment of the fine, interests of the revenue may not be jeopardized at all. We find no grounds to impose the conditions upon petitioner firm for undertaking re-export of yellow metal.

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