Updated: September 10, 2021 7:42:20 am
There is a very bleak chance of him being able to come back to India in view of the prevailing circumstances in Afghanistan, the Delhi High Court has said while declining to order the release of an Afghan national’s passport and grant him permission to leave the country without paying a penalty of Rs 13 lakh.
Ruhulla Amin was intercepted at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, while carrying certain medicines illegally, by the Customs authorities in January. The seized goods were worth about Rs 10 lakh. Besides the penalty, a redemption fine of Rs 9 lakh had also been imposed on Amin.
Stating that he had to look after his 11 children back home and his first wife was killed by terrorists, Amin had approached the courts for permission to travel to his home country. In February, the metropolitan court had allowed Amin to travel under conditions like payment of the total Rs 22 lakh. He challenged the order before a Sessions Court which, in June, declined to interfere with the order of the metropolitan magistrate.
Amin’s counsel requested the High Court to permit him to travel after payment of 20% of the amount and argued that since he was not inclined to take the good backs, the redemption fine is not required to be deposited and only penalty is required to be deposited.
However, the court said the order passed by the Additional Commissioner of Customs has attained finality as an appeal was not filed against it. It also said that Amin is an Afghan national who has no property in India and, therefore, no recovery can be made under the Customs Act.
“Considering that the adjudication proceedings qua the petitioner have attained finality and the petitioner even does not wish to redeem the articles, is required to deposit the penalty amount, hence this court finds no error in the impugned judgment,” said Justice Mukta Gupta in the order, while upholding the lower court orders.
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