CC vs Ganji Mallaiah
Import of vehicle - Importer to be an owner or title holder of vehicle
The condition mentioned in Public Notice No. 3(RE2000) 1997-2002 dated 31March 2000 that no person would be entitled to sell the vehicle imported while coming to India for permanent settlement after two years continuous stay abroad was pregnant with the condition that such person should be an owner or title holder of the vehicle. The right to sell vehicle after expiry of two years contemplated transfer of title arising from the transaction of sale and purchase. Transfer of title could only be done by a person holding title. Thus, the tribunal’s view that it was not necessary for the importer to prove his ownership or title to the vehicle during his stay abroad and that he need not be the owner of the vehicle for next two years after importation thereof during his stay in India was perverse. The tribunal’s order also suffered from non-application of mind inasmuch as it directed release of vehicle after collection of duty assessed thereon ignoring the fact that as per the Public Notice payment of full duty was a condition precedent and that the duty was duly paid by the importer. The impugned order was, thus, unsustainable and liable to be set aside.