Plea In Delhi High Court Challenges Centre's Policy For Importing Poppy Seeds From Turkey; Notice Issued

Nupur Thapliyal

8 Feb 2022 12:39 PM GMT

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  • Plea In Delhi High Court Challenges Centres Policy For Importing Poppy Seeds From Turkey; Notice Issued

    The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Central Government on a plea challenging its policy for importing poppy seeds from Turkey for the ensuing crop year 2021-22, as being arbitrary and unconstitutional. The plea filed through Advocate Sufian Siddiqui impugns a public notice dated January 7, 2022 and guidelines dated June 25, 2019 issued by the Central Bureau of Narcotics, Ministry...

    The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Central Government on a plea challenging its policy for importing poppy seeds from Turkey for the ensuing crop year 2021-22, as being arbitrary and unconstitutional.

    The plea filed through Advocate Sufian Siddiqui impugns a public notice dated January 7, 2022 and guidelines dated June 25, 2019 issued by the Central Bureau of Narcotics, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, Government of India apropos the Registration of Sales Contracts for Import of Poppy Seeds from Turkey.

    Justice V Kameswar Rao issued notice on the petition while granting four weeks' time to the respondents for filing counter affidavit in the matter. Further two weeks time has been given for filing of the rejoinder.

    The plea states that the impugned notice and guidelines are in brazen contravention and in teeth of the rules and regulations of FEMA and RBI.

    Accordingly, the plea alternatively seeks directions on Centre to suitably modify and amend the impugned Guidelines apropos the Registration of Sales Contracts for Import of Poppy Seeds from Turkey whilst making it fair, transparent and equitable, and in conformity with the applicable extant laws including but not limited to FEMA, DGFT and RBI.

    The plea avers that the Rules of FEMA, DGFT and RBI unambiguously prohibits Advance Import Remittance apropos any restricted import item viz. 'Poppy Seeds' without having obtained the prior Import License from the competent authority.

    In this backdrop, the plea reads " The procedure prescribed in the impugned Policy is mutually destructive as on one hand in terms of Clause (iii) of the Procedure it mandates that the Advance Import Remittance of 20% shall be made pursuant to the issuance of Provisional Registration, which appears to be in conformity with the FEMA Laws, whereas on the other hand in terms of Clause (v) of the Procedure it gives an option to the Indian Importer to get direct Registration if he has already made the Advance Import Remittance of 20%, which is ex- facie in contravention and teeth of the FEMA laws."

    Calling the impugned guidelines an eye wash and sham to hoodwink the general public, the plea adds:

    "The Clause 3 of the MOU signed between the Indian & Turkish Governments contemplates 'First cum first serve' policy. More so, the Procedure (v) as contained in the impugned policy directly and substantially appears to facilitate the informal cartel to corner the bonafide Indian Importers like the petitioner, who are given an option to make advance import payments in brazen contravention of the FEMA Laws."

    The matte will now be heard on March 16.

    Case Title: Rajiv Aggarwal vs Union Of India & Ors.

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