The Customs Act, 1962
116. PENALTY FOR NOT ACCOUNTING FOR GOODS.
If any goods loaded in a conveyance for importation into India, or any goods transshipped under the provisions of this Act or coastal goods carried in a conveyance, are not unloaded at their place of destination in India, or if the quantity unloaded is short of the quantity to be unloaded at that destination, and if the failure to unload or the deficiency is not accounted for to the satisfaction of the 1[Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs], the person-in-charge of the conveyance shall be liable, –
(a) in the case of goods loaded in a conveyance for importation into India or goods transshipped under the provisions of this Act, to a penalty not exceeding twice the amount of duty that would have been chargeable on the goods not unloaded or the deficient goods, as the case may be, had such goods been imported;
(b) in the case of coastal goods, to a penalty not exceeding twice the amount of export duty that would have been chargeable on the goods not unloaded or the deficient goods, as the case may be, had such goods been exported.
(i) Where the goods were short loaded from the actual mentioned quantity the Deputy Collector was held justified imposing the penalty on account of short loading; Chougle Brothers v. Deputy Collector of Customs, 50 ECC 91 (Mad).
(ii) When the goods unloaded are short of quantity, the Designated Officer can proceed with the matter and impose penalty after following the relevant procedure under the Act. The officers contemplated under section 116 and under section 42 puts the restriction that no conveyance shall be permitted to depart from the customs station untill a written order to that effect is given by the proper officer; British Airways Plc v. Union of India, AIR 2002 SC 391.
1. Subs. by Act 27 of 1999, sec. 100, for “Assistant Commissioner of Customs” (w.e.f. 11-5-1999). Earlier the words “Assistant Commissioner of Customs” were substituted by Act 22 of 1995, sec. 50, for the words “Assistant Collector of Customs” (w.e.f. 26-5-1995).