Punjab & Haryana H.C : This petition seeks a direction to quash releasing of gold jewellery weighing 1046 gms. to unauthorised persons and to give compensation to the petitioner.

High Court Of Punjab & Haryana

Smt. Krishna Devi vs. CCIT & ORS.

Section 132, Art. 226

Adarsh Kumar Goel & Alok Singh, JJ.

Civil Writ Petn. No. 3209 of 2009

4th February, 2010

Counsel Appeared :

Rajesh Garg, for the Petitioner : S.K. Garg Narwana & Ms. Radhika Suri, for the Respondents

JUDGMENT

By the court :

This petition seeks a direction to quash releasing of gold jewellery weighing 1046 gms. to unauthorised persons and to give compensation to the petitioner.

The case of the petitioner is that in search conducted on 20th Nov., 1979, under s. 132 of the IT Act, 1961, certain jewellery was seized from one Lachhman Dass Verma. The petitioner claims to be the wife of the adopted son of Lachhman Dass namely Rajinder Kumar Verma. The assessment was done in the year 1999 and part of the jewellery was held to be belonging to the petitioner. In spite of that, the jewellery in question was given by respondent No. 2 to unauthorised persons on 30th March, 2000. This petition has been filed on 25th Feb., 2009. Reliance has also been placed on order of this Court dt. 11th Nov., 2008 in Civil Writ Petn. No. 18727 of 2007, Rajinder Kumar Verma vs. Union of India & Ors. Annex. P2, filed by the husband of the petitioner.

The petition has been contested. In the reply filed on behalf of the Revenue, it has been pleaded that the writ petition was barred by laches. In similar circumstances, Civil Writ Petn. No. 6016 of 2006 filed by Smt. Surinder Verma wife of Sham Lal Verma, another adopted son of Lachhman Dass, was dismissed by this Court vide order dt. 12th Dec., 2006, Annex. A2. It has also been stated that there was litigation pending about succession of the late Lachhman Dass. Further stand of the Revenue is that the seized gold was sold on 30th March, 2000 and 11th April, 2000 to recover the dues and thus, the jewellery in question was not available with the Revenue. Similar stand has been taken by the private respondents who purchased the jewellery.

We have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the case of the petitioner is at par with order of this Court dt. 11th Nov., 2008, Annex. P2 while learned counsel for the respondents submitted that the case of the petitioner is covered by earlier order of this Court dt. 12th Dec., 2006, Annex. A2.

We find that the case of the petitioner is not covered by order of this Court dt. 11th Nov., 2008, as claimed by the petitioner. Therein, the jewellery in question had not yet been released or sold and was available with the Revenue and there was no dispute about entitlement of the petitioner therein. As against this, in the present case, the jewellery is not available with the Revenue but has been sold for recovery of dues and though the petitioner relied on the order of assessment passed in the year 1999 and also claims that it was the duty of the Revenue to return the jewellery within 120 days, thereafter, the petitioner never raised such claim for a period of about 10 years. In these circumstances, the case of the petitioner is fully covered by order of this Court dt. 12th Dec., 2006, Annex. A2, in the case of the sister-in-law of the petitioner, dismissing an identical writ petition.

Accordingly, this petition is dismissed.

[Citation : 324 ITR 415]

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