The Customs Act, 1962
108. POWER TO SUMMON PERSONS TO GIVE EVIDENCE AND PRODUCE DOCUMENTS. –
1(1) Any gazetted officer of customs shall have power to summon any person whose attendance he considers necessary either to give evidence or to produce a document or any other thing in any inquiry which such officer is making in connection with the smuggling of any goods.
(2) A summons to produce documents or other things may be for the production of certain specified documents or things or for the production of all documents or things of a certain description in the possession or under the control of the person summoned.
(3) All persons so summoned shall be bound to attend either in person or by an authorised agent, as such officer may direct; and all persons so summoned shall be bound to state the truth upon any subject respecting which they are examined or make statements and produce such documents and other things as may be required :
Provided that the exemption under section 132 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), shall be applicable to any requisition for attendance under this section.
(4) Every such inquiry as aforesaid shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of section 193 and section 228 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860).
(i) It is well settled that statements recorded under section 108 are admissible in evidence; K.I. Pavunny v. Assistant Collector (H.Q.) Central Excise Collectorate, (1997) 3 SCC 721.
(ii) The statement made before the customs officials is not a statement recorded under section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. On the other hand it is a material piece of evidence collected by customs officials under section 108 of the Customs Act; Naresh J. Sukhwani v. Union of India, AIR 1996 SC 522.
(iii) While illegally exporting foreign currency, the statement made by the co-accused can be used as evidence against the others; Naresh J. Sukhwani v. Union of India, J T 1995 (8) SC 160.
(iv) Statement recorded under section 108 of the Act will not be justified in taking statements of the accused persons as corroborative pieces of evidence; Superintendent of Customs v. Bhanabhai Khalpabhai Patel, AIR 1992 SC 1583.
1. Subs. by Act 29 of 2006, sec. 25, for sub-section (1) (w.e.f. 13-7-2006). Sub-section (1), before substitution, stood as under:
“(1) Any gazetted officer of custom shall have power to summon any person whose attendance he considers necessary either to give evidence or to produce a document or any other thing in any inquiry which such officer is making in connection with the smuggling of any goods.”.