The Bombay High Court on Tuesday enquired from the Commissioner of Customs about the difficulty in releasing feeding tubes imported from the United States for a cancer survivor who is unable to eat without them due to a surgery he underwent.
Division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice NR Borkar via video conferencing were hearing a writ petition filed by Samir Patel, a cancer survivor who sought relief of release of feeding tubes imported from the USA, withheld by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs.
In December 2016, the petitioner was diagnosed with oral cancer and due to remedial surgical operations, his intake of food/nutrients is only possible through a feeding tube. The feeding tubes are required to be imported from time to time from the USA. The petitioner has imported four boxes of such feeding tubes labelled "Osmolite Nutrio N-Food for Tube Feeding Patient" from the US through the DHL Courier Agency.
The Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Air Cargo Complex, Sahar, Andheri (E), Mumbai however withheld the said packets on grounds unclear to the petitioner.
The petitioner contended that the said feeding tubes are not available in India and there is also no alternative available. Moreover, the petitioner has a stock of the feeding tubes which will last only for a very few days.
Thus, Court observed-
"In view thereof, Respondents shall remain present before this Court on 18th June, 2020 by themselves and/or through their Advocates and explain the difficulty in releasing the packets containing feeding tubes."
Court directed the registry to forward a copy of the said order to Senior Advocate Pradeep Jetly who usually appears in customs cases. The next date of hearing is June 18 at 11 am.
Click Here To Download Order