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1. Alexander is a 60 years old businessman settled in Dubai.

He deals in Jewelry, gold and


diamonds. For his business he keeps roaming to world. He takes a flight of Air India from
Dubai to Malaysia via New Delhi by Flight No. IC 814.
2. He took the flight on 27th July 2018 at 8:00PM from Dubai and landed in New Delhi on
28th July at 4:00AM. RBI Under Customs Act, 1962 published a notification on 24th July,
2018 in supersession of its earlier notification placing further restrictions on the transit of
such gold to a place outside the territory of India, one of them being that such gold should
be declared in the "Manifest" for transit in the "same bottom cargo" or "transhipment
cargo". RBI Notiification was as follows, “"...................... the Reserve Bank of India gives
general permission to the bringing or sending of any of the following articles, namely,
(a)any gold coin, gold bullion, gold sheets or gold ingot, whether refined or not, into any
port or place in India when such article is on through transit to a place which is outside the
territory of India. Provided that such article is not removed from the ship or conveyance in
which it is being carried except for the purpose of transhipment;
Provided further that it is declared in the manifest for transit as same bottom cargo or
transshipment cargo.
3. Alexander is bound for Penang International Airport for Malysia. He did not land on New
Delhi IGI Airport. The Custom Officials on previous information about Alexander
searched for the him and found him sitting in the plane. On a search of the person of the
respondent it was found that he bad out on a jacket containing 28 compartments and in 19
of them he was carrying gold slabs weighing approximately 34 kilos. He was prosecuted
for importing gold under Customs Act, 1962.
4. In the statement that he made to the Customs authorities, when he was apprehended
Alexander stated that some person not named by him met him in Dubai and engaged him
on certain terms of remuneration, to clandestinely transport gold from Dubai to places in
the Far East. His first assignment was stated by him to be to fly to Tokyo wearing a jacket
which concealed in its specially designed pockets 34 bars of gold each weighing a kilo. He
claimed he had accomplished this assignment and that he handed over the gold he carried
to the person who contacted him at Tokyo.
5. From there he returned to Dubai where he was paid his agreed remuneration. He made
other trips,
6. subsequently being engaged in like adventures in all of which he stated he had succeeded,
each time carrying 34 kilos of gold bars which on every occasion was carried concealed in
a jacket which he wore, but we are now concerned with the one which he undertook at the
instance of this international gang of gold smugglers carrying, similarly, 34 kilo bars of
gold concealed in a jacket which he wore on his person. This trip started at Dubai on 27th
July 2018 and according to the Alexander his destination was Malaysia where he was to
deliver the gold to a contact there.
7. The plane arrived in New Delhi on the morning of the 28th. The Customs authorities who
had evidently advance information of gold being attempted to be smuggled by the
respondent travelling by that plane, first examined the manifest of the aircraft to see if any
gold had been consigned by any passenger. Not finding any entry there, after ascertaining
that Alexander had not come out of the plane as usual to the airport lounge, entered the
plane and found him there seated. They then asked him if he had any gold with him. The
answer of the respondent was "what gold" with a shrug indicating that he did not have any.
The Customs Inspector thereupon felt the Alexander's back and shoulders and found that
he had some metal blocks on his person. He was then asked to come out of the plane and
his baggage and person were searched. On removing the jacket he wore it was found to
have 28 specially made compartments 9 of which were empty and from the remaining 19,
34 bars of gold each weighing approximately one kilo were recovered. Alexander, when
questioned, disclaimed ownership of the gold and stated that he had no interest in these
goods and gave the story of his several trips which we have narrated earlier. It was common
ground that the gold which Alexander carried was not entered in the manifest of the aircraft
or other documents carried by it.
8. High Court held that Alexander was not, guilty of the offence under the Act as it has not
been established that he had with knowledge of the contents of the said notification brought
gold into India on his way to Malaysia and, therefore, he had not committed any offence
under the said section.
9. Now matter is in appeal before Indian Supreme Court.