A city court on Tuesday took umbrage at the customs department for seeking adjournment on frivolous grounds in a case. The case dates back to October 1997 when Subhash (68) and Harish Gandhi (58), Dubai-based NRIs, were intercepted for carrying undeclared gold worth Rs 71 lakh.
Noting that the defendants had been coming for every hearing—Harish from Dubai and Subhash from Mumbai—and the numerous adjournments, the court said, “The prosecution of the accused should not turn into persecution.”
“It is unfortunate that the accused are being harassed and burdened with the cost of their appearance,” said the judge. In past 13 years, the case has been adjourned nearly 100 times.
Sangeeta Bhayana, Gandhi’s counsel, said, “Customs departments have been asked to pay Rs 25,000 for total expenses for the next appearance”. The court directed the Customs Commissioner to ensure that cost of attending the hearing is remitted to the court on or before the next date of hearing for onwards payment to the accused.