In a relief to a cancer survivor, the Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Customs authority to hand over within 24 hours, a parcel containing feeding tubes imported from the US, which were withheld by the authorities.
A division bench of Justice S J Kathawalla and Justice Nitin R Borkar heard through videoconferencing a petition by Samir Patel, a cancer survivor, who sought directions to the Customs authority to release feeding tubes imported from the US, withheld by the assistant commissioner of customs.
The petitioner was diagnosed with oral cancer in December 2016 and due to remedial surgical operations, his food intake was only possible through feeding tubes, which need to be imported from the US from time to time. The petitioner had imported four boxes of feeding tubes, labelled ‘Osmolite Nutrio N-Food for Tube Feeding Patient’, through a courier agency. However, assistant commissioner of Customs, Air Cargo Complex at Andheri, withheld the packets on “unclear” grounds.
The petitioner submitted that feeding tubes were not available in India and no other alternative was available to them. He said he has a stock of feeding tubes, which will last only for a few days and had hence moved the High Court seeking the release of the packets.
On Thursday, senior counsel Venkatesh Dhond, along with advocates Prasad Shenoy and Prashant Asher for petitioner, sought the commissioner of customs to be made party to the case.
The court then directed the courier agency to submit a bill of entry for the parcel with the customs and asked the petitioner to forward a form for duty exemption certificate by email to the customs authorities.
The court further directed the Customs authority to process the documents and ensure that the parcel was handed over to the lawyers of petitioner or representatives within 24 hours and if any formalities required to be carried out, could be complied with even after the parcel is handed over