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IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

WRIT PETITION (C) NO. OF 2018


IN THE MATTER OF:
ARVIND SHAH ...PETITIONER
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA &ANR. ...RESPONDENT
CASE BRIEF
In the given the Petitioner filed an Instant Appeal as he impugns that the Examination Report
issued under F 10-1/2016-Ant dated 07.12.2016 (hereafter referred to as “The Report”) The
Report declares the goods seized from the Petitoner at the airport are “antiques” however, the
Respondents have failed to show on what grounds and under what methodology they arrived
at the given result, the Petitioner is thus facing criminal prosecution and customs duty. Hence
the appeal.
FACTS
The petitioner had sold, one belt buckle/pandent and one Bangel and provided one chain for
approval to one foreign Tourist Dr Bernd Augistine, who was by profession- a Professor in
Germany. Thatthe goods were sold to Dr Bernd Augistine when he visited the premises of the
petitioner in the month of November, 2016, Dr Bernd Augistine, the foreign tourist was
returningback to his country on 20.11.2016, he was intercepted by the officers of the
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Hqrs, New Delhi on pretext that the items carried by the
petitioners are suspected to be antiquity and detained the goods. That the DRI requested to
Director (Antiquity) to determine theexact nature of the goods detained from the said foreign
tourist vide letter dated 21.11.2016. The copy of the said letter was never provided to the
petitioner That the Respondent No. 2- Director (Antiquity) ASI, in compliance of said letter
of DRI, issued the report 07.12.2016 under Section 24 of the Antiquities and Art Treasures
Act, 1972. That the copy of the impugned report dated 07.12.2016 was not provided to the
petitioner but was enclosed as relied upon documents in the Show Cause Notice F.No
DRI/HQGI/338/XIV/ENQ-11/INT-NIL/2016 dated 15.02.2017 issued by the Directorate of
Revenue Intelligence, New Delhi proposing confiscation of the seized goods and imposition
of penalty, the petitioner came to know about the report only after this showcause and
therefore preferred an appeal before the Respondent No 1- Director General (ASI),
Janpath,New Delhi inter alia, on the ground that the petitioner has not received any preamble
to the said examination report whereby an appeal against the said erroneous report could be
made. The said report has also been prepared behind the back of the petitioner without giving
any opportunity of personal hearing in denial of principle of natural justice. The petitioner
under a bona fide belief that the appeal is maintainable.
ARGUMENTS
 The impugned Examination report dated 07.12.2016 has been prepared behind the
back of the petitioner without giving any fair opportunity to present his case before
the Committee, without granting of personal hearing. The exparte report deserves to
be rejected on this ground itself.
 Because, Section 2(1) (a)defines antiques as follows;
(I) (a) "antiquity" includes
(i) any coin, sculpture, painting epigraph or other work of art or craftsmanship;
(ii) any article, object or thing detached from a building or cave;
(Hi) any article, object or thing illustrative of science, art, crafts, literature, religion,
customs, morals or politics in bygone ages;
(iv) any article, object or thing of historical interest;
(v) any article, object or thing declared by the Central Government, by notification in the
Official Gazette, to be an antiquity for the purposes of this Act, which has been in existence
for not less than one hundred years: and
(II) any manuscript, record or other document which is of scientific, historical, literary or
aesthetic value and which has been in existence for not less than seventy-five years
 The report is totally silent as to the conclusion arrived at regarding the goods being
'antiques'. There is no explanation given by the Respondent as to how the goods were
adjudged to be antiques and the methodology adopted by the Respondents to come to
the said conclusion.
 Because, before forming any opinion, no show Cause Notice has not been issued
giving in detail the reasons behind finding articles as Antiquity
 Because, no scientifically proven method was used to determine the age of the
articles. In any event, the report does not disclose use of any scientific procedure to
ascertain the nature of the subject articles.
 Terming an article as Antiquity and reflecting its age without even identifying the
materials is gross abuse of statutory powers.The report deserves to be set aside on this
ground itself
 Because, in terms of the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972, a Notification is
issued for notifying items to be antiquity, and none were mentioned, and the jewellery
was born by his mother who is npt a historical figure or has such relations.
 The Petitioner was never argued by ASI as these jewellery has been made by Indian
artisans since times immemorial.
PRAYER
In view of the above and in the interest of justice it is most respectfully prayed that this
Hon'ble Court may be pleased to:

i. Issue a writ in the nature of certiorari for quashing and setting


aside the impugned Examination report dated 7.12.2016 issued
by the Respondent No. 2;
ii. Pass any other order(s) as this Hon'ble Court may deem fit and
proper.
PETITIONER

Place: New Delhi


Dated: 25.10.2018