No court respite for firm on exemption of duty at airport | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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No court respite for firm on exemption of duty at airport

The private firm which imports cigarettes to sell them at the duty-free shops at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport failed to get respite from the Bombay High Court with respect to exemption of duty on cigarettes.

mumbai Updated: Jan 13, 2010 00:27 IST
HT Correspondent

The private firm which imports cigarettes to sell them at the duty-free shops at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport failed to get respite from the Bombay High Court with respect to exemption of duty on cigarettes.

The division bench of acting Chief Justice JN Patel and Justice BR Gavai admitted the petition filed by DPS
India Private Ltd, but refused to grant interim relief on Tuesday.

The private company had approached the Bombay High Court after the Customs department confiscated its consignment last month, because it did not have the statutory warning as mandated by the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act.

Ravi Kadam, counsel for the firm, argued that under the Act, DPS India is eligible for duty exemption on export of goods imported, including cigarettes.

As the cigarettes are imported, the packets do not have the statutory warning, Kadam added.

Whether the manufacturer exports the consignment or an individual takes it abroad, either way it is going out of the country, argued Kadam. “In such a case, the company should be granted exemption of duty by the Customs,” he said.

Vincent Nazreth, who had filed the public interest litigation on behalf of non-governmental organisation Crusade Against Tobacco pointed out to the court that the Central government had assured the high court that only cigarette packets with statutory warnings will be sold.

The warning has to be printed on each cigarette packet, not just on the carton, said Nazreth.

The matter will be next heard on January 21.