Delhi HC rejects Afghan national's plea to visit Afghanistan

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New Delhi [India], September 9 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has denied permission to an Afghan national to visit his country in view of the prevailing circumstances in Afghanistan and the bleak chance of the petitioner being able to come back to India.

"In view of this fact and particularly the fact that there is a very bleak chance of the petitioner being able to come back to India, in view of the prevailing circumstances in Afghanistan, this Court finds no ground to release the passport of the petitioner and permit the petitioner to leave the country without depositing the penalty of Rs 13 lakh," Justice Mukta Gupta said.

Advocate Sangita Bhayana, representing for accused Ruhulla Amin told the court that Amin has 11 children and his first wife has been killed by terrorists and he has to look after his family.

Amin has challenged a trial court order dated February 1, 2021, which granted permission to go to Afghanistan but subject to certain conditions that he will deposit Rs 13 lakhs as redemption fine and Rs 9 lakh as a personal penalty as imposed by the Department, that he will furnish his address abroad and of his counsel who would receive notice on his behalf during this period of stay in Afghanistan. He has moved to the sessions court, which dismissed his revision petition on June 25, 2021.

Thereafter he approached the Delhi High Court.

Amin was intercepted while going to Afghanistan carrying certain medicines illegally at the airport and proceedings were initiated against him.

After the adjudication, an order was passed by the Additional Commissioner of Customs, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Terminal-3 as per which the value of the seized goods was re-determined as per Customs Valuation Rules at a discounted price which is less than 20 percent of the MRP. On the re-determined value were confiscated and a redemption fine of Rs 9 lakh was imposed besides a penalty of Rs 13 lakh on the petitioner under Section 114 of the Customs Act.

The petitioner has not paid the penalty and wants to go to Afghanistan.

According to counsel for the petitioner, the petitioner is not in a position to submit the redemption fine and that the petitioner be permitted to deposit 20 percent of the said amount and be allowed to go to Afghanistan. The counsel for the petitioner stated that the petitioner is not inclined to take the goods back, hence the redemption fine is not required to be deposited and only a penalty is required to be deposited.

"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. The petition is dismissed," the court said. (ANI)

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