SC directed Central Govt to file counter affidavit in matter of smuggling of iron ore to China
By Bijay Mishra
The Supreme Court directed the Central Government to file counter affidavit in a plea filed by Advocate ML Sharma seeking directions to the CBI to register an FIR and probe the alleged duty evasion by 61 companies in allegedly 'smuggling' iron ore to China since 2015.
The division bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Surya Kant heard the sensational Writ Petition WP(s) (Crl) No(s).334 /2020, U/Art. 32 & 21 of the constitution of India and u/s 135 of the Custom Act, COFEPOSA-74, U/s 11 of the Foreign Trade (development & regulation) Act 1992 r.w. 420 & 120 -B, 107 of IPC & PC Act 1988.
Earlier in January 2021 , the SC had sought response of the Centre and the iron exporting companies in the PIL filed by Advocate ML Sharma.The PIL had sought directions that the companies who were allegedly prosecuted for allegedly evading export duty by declaring wrong tariff code to export the iron ore under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 be prosecuted.The plea had also sought directions to CBI to investigate the matter and register FIR against the companies.
The petitioner alleged that iron ore smuggling to China has been taking place as these companies have been exporting them without paying 30 per cent export duty.Several private companies have been smuggling millions tons of Iron Ore Pellets to China contra to the FDRA-92 declaring/using Tariff HS Code 26011210 instead of 26011100 & evading 30% export duties since 2015 till date. Export of Iron ore is restricted goods under Tariff HS Code 260111.To evade 30% Export duty accused persons exported Iron Ore using Tariff HS Code 26011210 which is duty free HS Code, exclusively provided for KIOCL. It’s an offence of smuggling u/s 2(39) of Custom Act attract COFEPOSA and s. 11 foreign Act, recovery of penalty 5 times of the value of exported goods.
Mr Sharma prayed for issue of appropriate writ of mandamus to C.B.I. to register a F.I.R. u/s 135 of the Custom Act 1962, U/s 9 of COFEPOSA 1974, u/s 11 of the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act-1992 read with S.420 & 120-B, 107 of IPC and PC Act,1988 to arrest all accused persons and to investigate impugned concocted conspiracy of smuggling , duty evasions in violation of export policy, under the supervision of S.I.T framed by Hon’ble court and to file their report before the Hon’ble court in time bound manner for further action, direction, and prosecution of all involved accused persons in accordance of law in the interest of Justice.
Mr Bijay Parida , President , “Jana Adhikari Parisada “, in a letter , urged the Union Government to immediately initiate CBI enquiry to expose the mega scam