When any excisable goods are carried by sea in any vessel other than a vessel of the burden of three hundred tons and upwards, the owner and master of such vessel shall each be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
Nothing in section 24 applies to-
(a) Any excisable goods covered by a permit granted under rules made under this Act;
(b) Any excisable goods covered by a pass granted by any officer whom the 1* Central Board of Excise and Customs constituted under the Central Boards of Revenue Act, 1963] may appoint in this behalf; (54 of 1963 ).
(c) Such amount of excisable goods carried on board any vessel for consumption by her crew or by the passengers or animals (if any) on board as the 1* Central Board of Excise and Customs constituted under the Central Boards of Revenue Act, 1963 ] may from time to time exempt from the operation of section 24. (54 of 1963 ).
When any officer- empowered by the 1* Central Board of Excise and Customs constituted under the Central Boards of Revenue Act, 1963 ], (54 of 1963 ) to act Under this section has reason to believe, from personal knowledge or from information taken down in writing, that any excisable goods are being carried, or have within the previous twenty- four hours been carried, in any vessel so as to render the owner or master of such vessel liable to the penalties imposed by section 24, he may require such vessel to be brought- to and thereupon may-
(a) Enter and search the vessel;
(b) Require the master of the vessel to produce any documents in his possession relating to the vessel or the cargo thereof;
(c) Seize the vessel if the officer has reason to believe it liable to confiscation under this Act, and cause it to be brought with its crew and cargo into any port in 2* India]; and
(d) Where any excisable goods are found on board the vessel, search and arrest without a warrant any person on board the vessel whom he has reason to believe to be punishable under section 24.
Any master of a vessel refusing or neglecting to bring- to the vessel or to produce his papers when required to do so by an officer acting under section 26, and any person obstructing any such officer in the performance of his duty, may be arrested by such officer without a warrant, and shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
(1) Every vessel (including all appurtenances) in which any excisable goods are carried so as to render the owner or master of such vessel liable to penalties imposed by section 24, the cargo on board such vessel and the excisable goods in respect of which an offence under this Act has been committed shall be liable to confiscation on the orders of the officer empowered in this behalf by the Central Government.
(2) Whenever any Customs Officer is satisfied that any article is liable to confiscation under this section he may seize such article, and shall at once report the seizure to his superior officer for the information of the officer empowered to order confiscation under sub-section (1) and such officer may, if satisfied on such report or after making such inquiry as he thinks fit, that the article so seized is liable, to confiscation, either declare it to be confiscated, or impose a fine in lieu thereof not exceeding the value of the article.
Any offence punishable under section 24 or section 27 may be deemed to have been committed within the limits of the jurisdiction of the Magistrate of any place where the offender is found, or to which, if arrested under section 26 or section 27, he may be brought.
The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, exempt the carriage of excisable goods within any local limits or in any class of vessels from the operation of this Chapter, and, by like notification, again subject such carriage to the operation of this Chapter.
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