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RTI query gives ‘offender’ Customs agent clean chit

He was labelled a repeat offender by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Customs evasion cases, reports Urvi Mahajani.

mumbai Updated: Jun 08, 2010 01:41 IST
Urvi Mahajani
Urvi Mahajani
Hindustan Times

He was labelled a repeat offender by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Customs evasion cases.

But Amber Mufti (54), a Customs clearing and forwarding agent, learnt through the Right to Information Act that there are no previous cases lodged against him.

He has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court, seeking direction against DRI officers for allegedly implicating him in a false evasion case and illegally detaining him in September 2009.

The Bombay High Court has issued notices to the DRI, Additional Director General of DRI K.K. Sharma, Assistant Director of DRI Chetan Lama and Intelligence Officer Abhay Pashine.

A division bench of Justice B.H. Marlapalle and Justice A.V. Mohta also directed Pashine

to be present in the court on June 21.

Mufti’s petition said he was detained by the DRI on September 23, 2009, and was produced before a metropolitan magistrate on September 25 evening in an alleged customs evasion case.

The DRI did not give him a copy of his remand application.

After being released on bail after 90 days, Mufti acquired copy of the remand application as the DRI did not file chargesheet.

DRI’s remand application said: “Mufti is a regular customs offender and has been arrested by the DRI on earlier two occasions on cases of similar nature.”

Mufti’s lawyer argued that his client was never arrested before September 23.

Mufti filed an application under the RTI with the DRI and magistrate’s court seeking information of the cases under which he was arrested.

The DRI did not send any reply to Mufti, states his petition.

On March 15, he got a reply from the additional chief metropolitan magistrate, third court esplanade, signed by Chetan Lame, assistant director of the DRI giving him a clean chit.

First Published: Jun 08, 2010 01:40 IST