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The Customs Act, 1969

( ACT NO. IV OF 1969 )

Chapter XVIII

PREVENTION OF SMUGGLING - POWERS OF SEARCH, SEIZURE AND ARREST-ADJUDICATION OF OFFENCES

Power to search on reasonable ground
158. (1) The appropriate officer, if he has reason to believe that any person is carrying about himself goods liable to confiscation or any documents relating thereto, may search such person, if he has landed from or is on board or is about to board a vessel within the Bangladesh customs-waters, or if he has alighted from or is about to get into or is in any other conveyance arriving in or proceeding from Bangladesh, or if he is entering or about to leave Bangladesh, or if he is within the limits of any customs-area.
 
 
 
 
(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1) the appropriate officer may search a person, if he has reason to believe that such person is carrying about himself smuggled Platinum, any radio active mineral, gold, silver, precious stones, manufactures of Platinum, any radio active mineral, gold, silver or precious stones, or currency, or any other goods or class of goods notified by the Government in the official Gazette, or any documents relating to any one or more of the aforementioned goods.
Conferring certain Powers of Magistrate 1st Class on Customs officers

1[158A. For the purposes of entry, search, seizure and arrest under this Act, the Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, confer the powers of a Magistrate of the First Class described in the Schedule III of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898) on an officer of Customs not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner.]

Persons to be searched may desire to be taken before gazetted officer of Customs or Magistrate
159. (1) When any officer of Customs is about to search any person under the provisions of section 158, the officer of Customs shall inform such person about his right to be taken to a gazetted officer of Customs or Magistrate, and if such person so desires take him without unnecessary delay to the nearest gazetted officer of Customs or Magistrate before searching him, and may detain him until he can be so taken.
 
 
 
 
(2) The gazetted officer of Customs or the Magistrate before whom such person is brought shall, if he sees no reasonable ground for search, forthwith discharge the person and record reasons for doing so, or else direct search to be made.
 
 
 
 
(3) Before making a search under section 158, the officer of Customs shall call upon two or more persons to attend and witness the search and may issue an order in writing to them or any of them so to do, and the search shall be made in the presence of such persons and a list of all things seized in the course of such search shall be prepared by such officer or other person and signed by such witnesses.
 
 
 
 
(4) A female shall not be searched except by a female.
Power to screen or X-Ray bodies of suspected persons for detecting secreted goods
160. (1) Where the appropriate officer has reason to believe that any person liable to search under section 158 has any goods liable to confiscation secreted inside his body, he may detain such person and produce him without unnecessary delay before an officer of Customs not below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Customs.
 
 
 
 
(2) The aforesaid officer, if he has reasonable grounds for believing that such person has any such goods secreted inside his body and that it is necessary to have the body of such person screened or X-Rayed, may make an order to that effect, or else discharge such person forthwith, except where he is held on any other grounds.
 
 
 
 
(3) Where the aforesaid officer orders such person to be screened or X-Rayed, the appropriate officer shall, as soon as practicable, take him to a radiologist possessing such qualifications as may be recognised by the Government for that purpose and such person shall allow the radiologist to screen or X-Ray his body.
 
 
 
 
(4) The radiologist shall screen or X-Ray the body of such person and forward his report thereon, together with any X-Ray pictures taken by him to the aforesaid officer without unnecessary delay.
 
 
 
 
(5) Where on the basis of a report from a radiologist or otherwise, the aforesaid officer is satisfied that any person has any goods liable to confiscation secreted inside his body, he may direct that suitable action for bringing such goods out of his body be taken on the advice and under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner and such person shall be bound to comply with such direction:
 
 
Provided that in the case of a female no such action shall be taken except on the advice and under the supervision of a female registered medical practitioner.
 
 
 
 
(6) Where any person is brought before an officer of Customs not below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Customs as aforesaid, he may direct that pending completion of all action under this section such person be detained.
 
 
 
 
(7) No person shall be subjected to screening or X-Ray if he confesses that goods liable to confiscation are secreted inside his body and of his own consent agrees to suitable steps being taken to bring out such goods.
Power to arrest
161. (1) Any officer of Customs authorised in this behalf who has reason to believe that any person has committed an offence under this Act may arrest such person.
 
 
 
 
(2) Any person duly empowered for the prevention of smuggling who has reason to believe that any person who has committed an offence of smuggling under this Act may arrest such person.
 
 
 
 
(3) Every person arrested under this Act shall be taken forthwith before the nearest officer of Customs authorised by the Commissioner of Customs to deal with such cases, or, if there is no such officer of Customs within a reasonable distance, to the Officer-in-Charge of the nearest police-station.
 
 
 
 
(4) The officer of Customs or the Officer-in-Charge of a police-station before whom any person is taken under this section shall, if the offence be bailable, either admit him to bail to appear before the Magistrate having jurisdiction or have him taken in custody before such Magistrate.
 
 
 
 
(5) When any person is taken under sub-section (4) before an officer of Customs as aforesaid, such officer shall proceed to inquire into the charge against such person.
 
 
 
 
(6) For the purpose of an inquiry under sub-section (5), the officer of Customs may exercise the same powers, and shall be subject to the same provisions, as an Officer-in-Charge of a police-station may exercise and is subject to under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act No. V of 1898), when investigating a cognizable offence:
 
 
Provided that, if the officer of Customs is of opinion that there is sufficient evidence or reasonable ground of suspicion against the accused person, he shall, if the offence be bailable, either admit him to bail to appear before a Magistrate having jurisdiction, or have him taken in custody before such Magistrate.
 
 
 
 
(7) If it appears to the officer of Customs that there is no sufficient evidence or reasonable ground of suspicion against the accused person, he shall release the accused person on his executing a bond, with or without sureties as the officer may direct, to appear, if and when so required, before the Magistrate having jurisdiction and shall make a full report of the case to his immediate superior.
Power to issue search warrant
162. (1) Any Magistrate may, on application by a gazetted officer of Customs stating the grounds of his belief that goods liable to confiscation or documents or things which in his opinion will be useful as evidence in any proceeding under this Act are secreted in any place within the local limits of the jurisdiction of such Magistrate, issue a warrant to search for such goods, documents or things.
 
 
 
 
(2) Such warrant shall be executed in the same way, and shall have the same effect, as a search-warrant issued under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act No. V of 1898).
Power to search and arrest without warrant
163. (1) Whenever any officer or customs not below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Customs or any other officer 2[* * *] employed for the prevention of smuggling has reasonable grounds for believing that any goods liable to confiscation or any documents or things which in his opinion will be useful for or relevant to any proceeding under this Act are concealed or kept in any place and that there is a danger that they may be removed before a search can be effected under section 162, he may, after preparing a statement in writing of the grounds of his belief and of the goods, documents or things for which search is to be made, search or cause of search to be made for such goods, documents or things in that place.
 
 
(2) Any officer or person who makes a search or causes a search to be made under sub-section (1) shall leave a signed copy of the aforementioned statement in or about the place searched and shall, at the time the search is made or as soon as is practicable thereafter, deliver furthermore a signed copy of such statement to the occupier of the place at his last known address.
 
 
 
 
(3) All searches made under this section shall be carried out mutatis mutandis in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act No. V of 1898).
 
 
 
 
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections and subject to previous authorisation by an officer of Customs not below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Customs, any officer of Customs or any person duly empowered as such may, with respect to an offence 3[of smuggling]-
 
 
 
 
(a) arrest without warrant any person concerned in such offence or against whom reasonable suspicion exists that he is about to be concerned in such offence;
 
 
 
 
(b) enter and search without warrant any premises to make an arrest under clause (a), or to seize any goods which are reasonably suspected to be intended for 4[smuggling] contrary to any prohibition or restriction for the time being in force, and all documents or things which in his opinion will be useful for or relevant to any proceeding under this Act; and-
 
 
 
 
(c) for the purpose of arresting, detaining or taking into custody or preventing the escape of any person concerned or likely to be concerned in such offence, or for the purpose of seizing or preventing the removal of any goods in respect of which any such offence has occurred or is likely to occur, use or cause to be used such force to the extent of causing death as may be necessary.
 
 
(5) The provisions of sub-section (4) shall apply only to the areas within five miles of the land frontier of Bangladesh, and within a five mile belt running along the sea coast of Bangladesh.
 
 
 
 
(6) No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall be instituted, except with the previous sanction in writing of the Government, against any person in respect of anything done or purporting to be done in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) or, in the areas specified in sub-section (3), by sub-section (4).
Power to stop and search conveyances
164. (1) Where the appropriate officer has reason to believe that within the territories of Bangladesh (including territorial waters) any conveyance has been, is being, or is about to be, used in the smuggling of any goods or in the carriage of any smuggled goods, he may at any time stop any such conveyance or, in the case of an aircraft, compel it to land, and-
 
 
 
 
(a) rummage and search any part of the conveyance;
 
 
 
 
(b) examine and search any goods thereon; and
 
 
 
 
(c) break open the lock of any door, fixture or package for making search.
 
 
 
 
(2) Where in the circumstances referred to in sub-section (1)-
 
 
 
 
(a) it becomes necessary to stop any vessel or compel any aircraft to land, it shall be lawful for any vessel or aircraft in the service of the Government while flying her proper flag or bearing flag marks and any authority authorised in this behalf by the Government to summon such vessel to stop or the aircraft to land, by means of an international signal, code or other recognised means, and thereupon such vessel shall forthwith stop or such aircraft shall forthwith land, and fails to do so, chase may be given there to by any vessel or aircraft as aforesaid and if after a gun is fired as a signal the vessel fails to stop or the aircraft fails to land, it may be fired upon;
 
 
(b) it becomes necessary to stop any conveyance other than a vessel or aircraft, the appropriate officer may use or cause to be used all lawful means for stopping it or preventing it escape including, if all other means fail, firing upon it.
Power to examine persons
165. (1) The appropriate officer may, during the course of an inquiry in connection with the smuggling of any goods,-
 
 
 
 
(a) require any person to produce or deliver any document or thing to such officer,
 
 
 
 
(b) examine any person acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case.
 
 
 
 
(2) The appropriate officer shall exercise the powers in sub-section (1) only in relation to a person who is readily available or present before him and shall be subject to the same provisions as an Officer-in-Charge of a police-station is subject to under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act No. V of 1898), when investigating a cognizable offence.
Power to summon persons to give evidence and produce documents or things
166. (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 summon 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 statement 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, shall be applicable to any requisition for attendance under this section.
 
 
(4) Every such inquiry as aforesaid shall be deemed to be judicial proceeding within the meaning of section 193 and section 228 of the 5[Penal Code].
Persons escaping may be afterwards arrested
167. If any person liable to be arrested under this Act is not arrested at the time of committing the offence for which he is so liable, or after arrest makes his escape, he may at any time afterwards be arrested and dealt with in accordance with the provisions of sub-sections (3), (7) of section 161 as if he had been arrested at the time of committing such offence.
Seizure of things liable to confiscation
168. (1) The appropriate officer may seize any goods liable to confiscation under this Act, and where it is not practicable to seize any such goods, he may serve on the owner of the goods or any person holding them in his possession or charge an order that he shall not remove, part with, or otherwise deal with the goods except with the previous permission of such officer.
 
 
 
 
(2) Where any goods are seized under sub-section (1) and no show cause notice in respect thereof is given under section 180 within two months of the seizure of the goods, the goods shall be returned to the person from whose possession they were seized:
 
 
 
 
Provided that the aforesaid period of two months may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, be extended by the Commissioner of Customs by a period not exceeding two months.
 
 
 
 
(3) The appropriate officer may seize any documents or things which in his opinion will be useful as evidence in any proceeding under this Act.
 
 
 
 
(4) The person from whose custody any documents are seized under sub-section (3) shall be entitled to make copies thereof or take extracts therefrom in the presence of an officer of Customs.
Things seized how dealt with
169. (1) All things seized on the ground that they are liable to confiscation under this Act shall, without unnecessary delay, be delivered into the care of the officer of Customs authorised to receive the same.
 
 
 
 
(2) If there be no such officer at hand, all such things shall be carried to and deposited at the custom-house nearest to the place of seizure.
 
 
 
 
(3) If there be no custom-house within a convenient distance, such things shall be deposited at the nearest place appointed by the Commissioner of Customs for the deposit of things so seized.
 
 
 
 
(4) If the Commissioner of Customs or any other officer of Customs authorised by him in this behalf considers that any such things is perishable or liable to rapid deterioration, he shall immediately cause it to be sold in accordance with the provisions of section 201 and have the proceeds kept in deposit pending adjudication of the case 6[:
 
 
 
 
Provided that where practicable samples of such things with proper identification marks may be kept for the purpose of any legal proceeding or for any other purpose of this Act.]
 
 
 
 
(5) If on such adjudication the thing so sold is found not to have been liable to such confiscation, the entire sale proceeds, after necessary deduction of duties, taxes or dues as provided in section 201, shall be handed over to the owner.
Procedure in respect of things seized on suspicion by the police
170. (1) When any things liable to confiscation under this Act are seized by any police-officer on suspicion that they had been stolen, he may carry them to any police-station or Court at which a complaint connected with the stealing or receiving of such things has been made, or an inquiry connected with such stealing or receiving is in progress, and there detain such things until the dismissal of such complaint or the conclusion of such inquiry or of any trial thence resulting.
 
 
(2) In every such case the police-officer seizing the things shall send written notice of their seizure and detention to the nearest custom-house and immediately after the dismissal of the complaint or the conclusion of the inquiry or trial, he shall cause such things to be conveyed to and deposited at, the nearest custom house, to be there proceeded against according to law.
When seizure or arrest is made, reason in writing including inventory to be given
7[171. When anything is seized or any person is arrested under this Act, the officer or any other person making such seizure or arrest shall, at the time of making the seizure or arrest, inform in writing the person so arrested or the person from whose possession the things are seized, of the grounds of such seizure or arrest; and shall, in the case of seizure of anything, also deliver to the person from whose possession they have been seized an inventory relating thereto:
 
 
 
 
Provided that where it is not practicable to deliver such inventory at the time of seizure, it shall be delivered within a period of seven working days from the date of the seizure.]
Power to detain packages containing certain publications imported into Bangladesh
172. (1) Any officer of Customs duly authorised by the Commissioner of Customs or any other officer authorised by the Government in this behalf may detain any package, brought whether by land, air or sea into Bangladesh which he suspects to contain-
 
 
 
 
8[(a) any newspaper or book as defined in the Printing Presses and Publications (Declaration and Registration) Act, 1973 (XXIII of 1973), or]
 
 
 
 
(b) any document,
 
 
 
 
containing any treasonable or seditious matter, that is to say, any matter the publication of which is punishable under section 123A or section 124A, as the case may be, of the 9[Penal Code], and shall forward such package to such officer as the Government may appoint in this behalf.
 
 
(2) Any officer detaining a package under sub-section (1) shall, where practicable, forthwith send by post to the addressee or consignee of such package notice of the fact of such detention.
 
 
 
 
(3) The Government shall cause the contents of such package to be examined, and if it appears to the Government that the package contains any such newspaper, book or other document, as aforesaid, it may pass such order as to the disposal of the package and its contents as it may deem proper, and, if it does not so appear, shall release the package and its contents unless the same be otherwise liable to seizure under any law for the time being in force:
 
 
 
 
Provided that any person interested in any package detained under the provisions of this section, may, within two months of the date of such detention, apply to the Government for release of the same, and the Government shall consider such application and pass such order thereon as it may deem to be proper:
 
 
 
 
Provided further that, if such application is rejected, the applicant may, within two months of the date of the order rejecting the application, apply to the 10[High Court Division] for release of the package or its contents on the ground that the package or the contents do not contain any such newspaper, book or other document.
 
 
 
 
(4) No order passed or action taken under this section shall be called in question in any Court save as provided in the second proviso to sub-section (3).
 
 
 
 
Explanation.- In this section “document” includes any writing, painting, engraving, drawing or photograph, or other visible representation.
Procedure for disposal by 11[High Court Division] of applications for release of package so detained
173. Every application under the second proviso to sub-section (3) of section 172 shall be heard and determined, in the manner provided by sections 99D to 99F of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, by a special bench of the 12[High Court Division] constituted in the manner provided by section 99C of that Code.
Power to require production of order permitting clearance of goods imported or exported by land
174. The appropriate officer may require any person in charge of any goods which such officer has reason to believe to have been imported, or to be about to be exported by land from, or to, any foreign territory to produce the order made under section 83, permitting inward clearance of the goods or the order passing the bill of export made under section 131 permitting export of the goods:
 
 
 
 
Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to any imported goods passing from a foreign frontier to an inland customs-station by a route prescribed under clause (c) of section 9:
 
 
 
 
Provided further that the Board may, by notification in the official Gazette, direct that the provisions of this section shall not apply to any particular area adjoining foreign territory in relation to goods of any specified description or value.
Power to prevent making or transmission of certain signals or messages
175. If an officer of Customs or police or any member of the armed forces of Bangladesh has reasonable grounds for suspecting that any signal or message connected with smuggling or intention or designs of smuggling any goods into or out of Bangladesh is being or is about to be made or transmitted from any conveyance, house or place, he may board or enter such conveyance, house or place, and take such steps as are reasonably necessary to stop or prevent the making or transmission of the signal or message.
Power to station officers in certain factories
176. An officer of Customs not below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Customs may, if he so deems fit, station an officer of Customs in any factory or building used for commercial purposes and situated within five miles of the frontier of Bangladesh with the object of ensuring that the factory or building is not used in any way for the unlawful or irregular importation or exportation of goods and the officer so stationed shall have the power to inspect at all reasonable times the records of the factory or business carried on in the building and such other powers as may be prescribed by rules.
Restriction or the possession of goods in certain areas
177. (1) This section shall apply to such areas adjacent to the frontier of Bangladesh as may, from time to time, be notified by the Board in the official Gazette.
 
 
 
 
13[(2) In any area to which this section for the time being applies, no person shall have in his possession or control any such goods or class of goods in excess of such quantity or value as may from time to time be notified by the Government in the official Gazette, except under a permit granted by the Government in respect of the particular goods or class of goods, or by an officer authorised by the Government.]
Punishment of persons accompanying a person possessing goods liable to confiscation
178. If any two or more persons in company or found together and they or any of them, have goods liable to confiscation under this Act, every such person having knowledge of this fact is guilty of an offence and punishable in accordance with the provisions of this Act as if goods were found on such person.
Power of adjudication

14[179. 15[(1)] In cases involving confiscation of goods or imposition of penalty under this Act, the jurisdiction and powers of the officers of Customs shall be as shown in the Table below:-

                                                 16[TABLE

Type of cases

Designation of Officers

Jurisdiction and powers

(1)

(2)

(3)

I. Adjudication of cases involving confiscation of goods or imposition of penalty or both

 

(1) Commissioner of Customs or Commissioner of Customs (Bond) or Director General (Duty Exemption and Drawback)

 

(2) Additional Commissioner

of Customs

 

 

(3) Joint Commissioner

of Customs

 

 

(4) Deputy Commissioner of Customs

 

 

(5) Assistant Commissioner

of Customs

 

(6) Revenue Officer

(1) Value of goods exceeding Taka
40 (forty) lac

 

 

 

(2) Value of goods not exceeding Taka
40 (forty) lac

 

(3) Value of goods not exceeding Taka 30(thirty) lac

 

 

(4) Value of goods not exceeding Taka 20(twenty) lac

 

(5) Value of goods not exceeding Taka 10 (ten) lac

(6) Value of goods not  exceeding Taka 4 (four) lac

II. Adjudication of cases relating to Manifest clearance in custom-houses and customs-stations involving only imposition of penalty under item 24 of the Table under sub-section (1) of section 156.

Deputy Commissioner of Customs or Assistant Commissioner of Customs in charge of Manifest clearance in custom-houses or customs-stations, as the case may be.

Value of goods without limit.”

 
Issue of show-cause notice before confiscation of goods or imposition of penalty
180. No order under this Act shall be passed for the confiscation of any goods or for imposition of any penalty on any person, unless the owner of the goods, if any, or such person-
 
 
 
 
(a) is informed in writing (or if the person concerned consents in writing orally) of the grounds on which it is proposed to confiscate the goods or to impose the penalty;
 
 
 
 
(b) is given an opportunity of making a representation in writing (or if the person concerned indicates in writing his preference for it orally) within such reasonable time as the appropriate officer may specify, against the proposed action; and
 
 
 
 
(c) is given a reasonable opportunity of being heard personally or through a counsel or duly authorised agent 17[:
 
 
 
 
Provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply to an order of confiscation of any goods or imposition of any penalty on any person passed in consequence of a request in writing of the owner of such goods or the person concerned to the effect that the offence is admitted and that the owner of such goods or the person concerned consents in writing to accept the order passed without issuing any show cause notice to him and without prejudice to his right of appeal against such order.]
Option to pay fine in lieu of confiscated goods
181. 18[(1)] Whenever an order for the confiscation of goods is passed under this Act, the officer passing the order may give the owner of the goods an option to pay in lieu of the confiscation of the goods such fine as the officer thinks fit.
 
 
 
 
Explanation.- Any fine in lieu of confiscation of goods imposed under this section shall be in addition to any duty and charges payable in respect of such goods, and of any penalty that might have been imposed in addition to the confiscation of goods.
 
 
 
 
19[(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to any goods the import of which is prohibited by or under any law.]
Vesting of confiscated property in the Government
182. When any goods are confiscated under this Act they shall forthwith vest in the Government, and the officer who orders confiscation shall take and hold possession of the confiscated goods.
Levy of penalty for departure without authority or failure to bring-to
183. (1) If any conveyance actually departs without a port clearance or permission in writing or, in the case of a vessel, after having failed to bring-to when required at any station appointed under section 14, the penalty to which the person-in-charge of such conveyance is liable may be adjudged by the appropriate officer of any customs-station, to which such conveyance proceeds, or in which it for the time being is.
 
 
 
 
(2) A certificate in respect of such departure or failure to bring-to when required, purporting to be signed by the appropriate officer of the customs-station from which the conveyance is stated to have so departed, shall be prima facie proof of the fact so stated.
Power to try summarily
184. Any Magistrate for the time being empowered to try in a summary way the offences specified in sub-section (1) of section 260 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 may, if he thinks fit, on application in this behalf by the prosecution, try an offence under this Act except when the value of goods involved in such offences exceeds 20[Taka five thousand] in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 262 and sections 263, 264 and 265 of that Code.
Special powers for Magistrates
185. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, and subject to the other provisions of this Act, any Magistrate of the first class specially empowered by the Government in this behalf may pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term exceeding 21[five years] and of fine exceeding 22[ten thousand Taka] for an offence under this Act.
Detention of goods pending payment of fine or penalty
186. (1) When any fine or penalty has been imposed, or while imposition of any fine or penalty is under consideration, in respect of any goods, such goods shall not be removed by the owner until such fine or penalty has been paid.
 
 
 
 
(2) When any fine or penalty has been imposed in respect of any goods, the appropriate officer may detain any other goods belonging to the same owner pending payment of such fine or penalty.
Burden of proof as to lawful authority, etc.
187. When any person is alleged to have committed an offence under this Act and any question arises whether he did any act or was in possession of anything with lawful authority or under a permit, licence or other document prescribed by or under any law for the time being in force, the burden of proving that he had such authority, permit, licence or other document shall lie on him.
Presumption as to documents in certain cases
188. Where any document is produced by any person under this Act or has been seized under this Act from the custody or control of any person, and such document is tendered by the prosecution in evidence against him, the Magistrate shall,-
 
 
 
 
(a) unless the contrary is proved by any such person, presume-
 
 
 
 
(i) the truth of the contents of such document;
 
 
 
 
(ii) that the signature and every other part of such document which purports to be in the handwriting of any particular person or which the Magistrate may reasonably assume to have been signed by or to be in the handwriting of, any particular person, is in that person's handwriting, and in the case of a document executed or attested that it was executed or attested by the person by whom it purports to have been so executed or attested;
 
 
 
 
(b) admit the document in evidence, notwithstanding that it is not duly stamped, if such document is otherwise admissible in evidence.
Notice of conviction to be displayed
189. (1) Upon the conviction of any person for the offence of smuggling, the Government may require him to exhibit in or outside, or both in and outside, his place of business, if any notices of such number, size and lettering, and placed in such positions and containing such particulars relating to the conviction as it may determine, and to keep them so exhibited continuously for a period not less than three months from the date of conviction; and if he fails to comply fully with the requirement he shall be deemed to have committed a further offence under this Act of the nature of the original offence for which he was convicted.
 
 
 
 
(2) If any person so convicted refuses or fails to comply fully with any such requirement, any officer authorised in that behalf by an order of the Government in writing may, without prejudice to any proceedings which may be brought in respect of any such refusal or failure, affix the notices in or outside, or both in and outside, the place of business of such person in accordance with the requirement of the Government in pursuance of sub-section (1).
 
 
 
 
(3) If, in any case the Government is satisfied that the exhibition of notices in accordance with the requirements of the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) will not effectively bring the conviction to the notice of persons dealing with the convicted person, the Government may, in lieu of, or in addition to any such requirement, require the convicted person to exhibit for such period, not being a period less than three months, on such stationery used in his business as may be specified in the requirement, a notice placed in such position and printed in type of such size and form and containing such particulars relating to the conviction as may be specified in the requirement; and, if he fails to comply fully with the requirement, he shall be deemed to have committed a further offence under this Act of the nature of the original offence for which he was convicted.
Power to publish conviction
190. If the Government is satisfied that it is necessary so to do, the conviction and the particulars relating to the conviction of any person for the offence of smuggling may be published in the official Gazette.
Imprisonment may be of either description
191. Imprisonment for any offence under this Act may, in the discretion of the Magistrate, be either simple or rigorous.
Duty of certain person to give information
192. (1) Any person who comes to know of the commission of any offence under this Act, or any attempt or likely attempt to commit any such offence, shall, as soon as may be, give information thereof in writing to the officer-in-charge of the nearest custom-house or customs-station, or if there is no such custom-house or customs-station, to the Officer-in-Charge of the nearest police-station.
 
 
 
 
(2) The Officer-in-Charge of a police-station who receives any information mentioned in sub-section (1) shall as soon as possible communicate it to the officer-in-charge of the nearest custom-house or customs-station.
 
 

  • 1
    Section 158A was inserted by section 37 of অর্থ আইন, ২০০০ (২০০০ সনের ১৫ নং আইন)
  • 2
    The words “of like rank duly” were omitted by Article 2 of the Customs (Amendment) Order, 1972 (President’s Order No. 122 of 1972)
  • 3
    The words “of smuggling” were substituted for the words and commas “related to exportation of such goods as the Central Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, specify in this behalf” by Article 2 of the Customs (Amendment) Order, 1972 (President’s Order No. 122 of 1972)
  • 4
    The word “smuggling” was substituted for the word “exportation” by Article 2 of the Customs (Amendment) Order, 1972 (President’s Order No. 122 of 1972)
  • 5
    The words “Penal Code” were substituted for the words “Pakistan Penal Code” by section 11 of the Finance Act, 1980 (Act No. XXIII of 1980)
  • 6
    The colon (:) was substituted for the full-stop (.) and the proviso was inserted thereafter by section 38 of অর্থ আইন, ২০০০ (২০০০ সনের ১৫ নং আইন)
  • 7
    Section 171 was substituted by section 6 of অর্থ আইন, ১৯৯২ (১৯৯২ সনের ২১ নং আইন)
  • 8
    Clause (a) was substituted by section 11 of the Finance Act, 1980 (Act No. XXIII of 1980)
  • 9
    The words “Penal Code” were substituted for the words “Pakistan Penal Code” by section 11 of the Finance Act, 1980 (Act No. XXIII of 1980)
  • 10
    The words “High Court Division” were substituted for the words “High Court” by section 11 of the Finance Act, 1980 (Act No. XXIII of 1980)
  • 11
    The words “High Court Division” were substituted for the words “High Court” by section 11 of the Finance Act, 1980 (Act No. XXIII of 1980)
  • 12
    The words “High Court Division” were substituted for the words “High Court” by section 11 of the Finance Act, 1980 (Act No. XXIII of 1980)
  • 13
    Clause (2) was substituted by section 11 of the Finance Act, 1980 (Act No. XXIII of 1980)
  • 14
    Section 179 was substituted by section 11 of the Finance Act, 1980 (Act No. XXIII of 1980)
  • 15
    The existing provision was numbered as sub-section (1) of that section by section 12 of অর্থ আইন, ২০০৩ (২০০৩ সনের ১৭ নং আইন)
  • 16
    The Table was substituted by section 4 of অর্থ আইন, ২০২১ (২০২১ সনের ১২ নং আইন)
  • 17
    The colon (:) was substituted for the full-stop (.) by section 7 of the Finance Ordinance, 1986 (Ordinance No. XLV of 1986)
  • 18
    Section 181 was renumbered as 181(1) by section 2 of the Customs (Amendment) Ordinance, 1985 (Ordinance No. XI of 1985)
  • 19
    Sub-section (2) was added by section 2 of the Customs (Amendment) Ordinance, 1985 (Ordinance No. XI of 1985)
  • 20
    The words “Taka five thousand” were substituted for the words “five hundred rupees” by section 11 of the Finance Act, 1980 (Act No. XXIII of 1980)
  • 21
    The words “five years” were substituted for the words “three years” by section 7 of the Finance Ordinance, 1986 (Ordinance No. XLV of 1986)
  • 22
    The words “ten thousand Taka” were substituted for the words “Taka five thousand” by section 7 of the Finance Ordinance, 1986 (Ordinance No. XLV of 1986)
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Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs