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  India   All India  05 Feb 2018  Rajasthan: Bid to get back family gold goes awry

Rajasthan: Bid to get back family gold goes awry

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJAY BOHRA
Published : Feb 5, 2018, 6:10 am IST
Updated : Feb 5, 2018, 6:10 am IST

Chagan Lal Godawat filed an appeal claiming that it was ancestral gold was ancestral.

Spurning an offer to redeem 240 kg gold for Rs 2.5 crore that was valued Rs 11.04 crore in 1994, the family of bullion traders may end up paying in excess of Rs 35 crore to the customs department which confiscated it.
 Spurning an offer to redeem 240 kg gold for Rs 2.5 crore that was valued Rs 11.04 crore in 1994, the family of bullion traders may end up paying in excess of Rs 35 crore to the customs department which confiscated it.

Jaipur: There is an old saying: Many go out for wool and come home shorn. This applies perfectly to a Rajasthan bullion trader family which has landed in soup in their bid to avoid paying a penalty on gold confiscated by the customs department.

Spurning an offer to redeem 240 kg gold for Rs 2.5 crore that was valued Rs 11.04 crore in 1994, the family of bullion traders may end up paying in excess of Rs 35 crore to the customs department which confiscated it.

 

The story dates back to 1965. the customs sleuths raided haveli of Chagan Lal Godawat, a wealthy gold merchant because of whom the town of Choti Sadri is known as "golden town". The raid unearthed 240 kg gold hidden in a 14-ft deep basement.

The entire gold was confiscated. The custom collector also imposed a penalty of Rs 25 lakh on Chagan Lal Godawat for hoarding a very huge quantity of undeclared gold in contravention of Rule 126-I of Defence of India Rules, 1962.

Chagan Lal Godawat filed an appeal claiming that it was ancestral gold was ancestral. However, the appeal was rejected by gold control administrator in 1972. Chagan lal soon died but the case dragged on in the courts as his son Gunwant Lal kept filing appeal every time he lost.

 

Recently, Supreme Court rejected his appeal against Rajasthan High court's order asking him to pay fine of Rs 11.04 crore in lieu of 240 kg gold that was confiscated by customs department in 1965.

Bringing curtains to 53-year old matter, the Supreme Court recently asked Gunwant Lal Godawat not only to pay Rs 11.04 crore fine imposed by the customs collector but also pay interest of 10 per cent per annum on the amount. By conservative estimates, the total may add up to nearly Rs 35 crore.

"In view of the enormous delay which took place in the confiscation proceedings (50+ years), the appellant must be made to pay the interest on the amount of fine of Rs 11.04 crores," the court observed.

 

Subhash Agarwal, commissioner, customs department, Jaipur, said, "We haven't calculated the total amount to be paid but Godawats will have to pay the fine of Rs 11.04 crore as well as interest if they want to retain 185 kg gold that was given back and receive remaining 55 kg held by the department. Otherwise, they will have to return 185 kg gold lying with them."

Tags: customs department, rajasthan high court
Location: India, Rajasthan, Jaipur