Persons in public office are supposed to help the public and not harass them, said a city court, issuing warrants against the Commissioner of Customs on Thursday.
Custom officials had refused to return $23,764 and 25 pounds confiscated from a businessman, despite a court order.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ajay Pandey said, “The court is surprised to hear from a public servant that the public has no right to have access to him even for compliance of court orders.”
The judge was shocked when custom officer Ram Babu present in court repeatedly said despite having passes to meet officers, the officials are not bound to meet anybody.
Customs officials had confiscated foreign currency and passport of Anand Mohan Chaudhary, who was returning from a trip to the US in 1996.
Chaudhary produced three applications for issuance of one-time Airport Entry Permit dated Feb 11, 12 and 13, 2010. Chaudhary also tabled court orders issued on Feb 9 to return his money.
Satish Aggarwala, counsel, Customs Department argued that Chaudhary did not approach the department.
The judge had on Tuesday summoned the Commissioner of Customs to appear in the court in person along with a record regarding the visit of Chaudhary to the customs office.
In the absence of the Commissioner, the court issued bailable warrants against him.