Gowri Shankar, Member (T)
1. The applications are for waiver of deposit of penalty of Rs. 5,000/- each imposed under Section 114 of the Act on M/s. Eagle Shipping Agency, a Custom House Agent (CHA), and its partner Prakash Palan.
2. The penalties have been imposed on the finding (which is not disputed) of the Commissioner that one case out of 51 consignments of export contained parts of anti weapons instead of castings for door handles as declared in the shipping bill. The Commissioner has imposed penalty on the CHA for the reason that its partner subscribed to the truth of the contents of the declaration in the shipping bill.
3. In that situation, something would be required to show that the CHA knew, or would have reason to know or believe, that the consignment contained goods other than those which were declared. In the normal course, CHA files a shipping bill or other documents to the Customs on the basis of the materials given to him by his client, an exporter, importer, or other persons, as the case may be. If the CHA in the exercise of his functions believed in good faith that these documents were genuine, penalty would not be impos-able. The facts of this case prima facie do not indicate any reason or basis for the CHA to believe that the goods were anything other that what they were stated to be by the exporter i.e. castings.
4. On this prima facie view we waive deposit of the penalties and stay their recovery.