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Chapter XI
Entry, Search, Seizure and Investigation

197. Authorized Officers to have free access to premises, equipment, stocks and accounts of dealers in excisable goods.-

Any officer duly empowered by the Commissioner in this behalf shall have access, at all reasonable times, to any premises registered under these rules and to any place where excisable goods are grown, processed or stored, sold or manufactured or to any place where composition of match heads or salt petre for manufacture of matches are made, processed or stored, for carrying out such scrutiny, verification and checks subject to such conditions and limitations as may be specified in the instructions issued by the Commissioner from time to time.

198. Penalty for obstruction or giving false or misleading information.-

If any person, by himself or by any person in his employ-

(1) voluntarily obstructs, or offers any resistance to, or impedes, or otherwise interferes with; or

(2) refuses or fails to give or wilfully gives false or misleading information to the officer duly appointed under rule 197, who is acting in accordance with his duty thereunder,

such person shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to one thousand rupees.

199. Power to detain person and examine goods.-

(1) Any officer duly empowered by the Commissioner may stop and detain any person found carrying or removing any excisable goods for the transport of which a permit or other transport document is required by these rules, and may examine the goods and may require the production of a permit or other document authorising the removal thereof.

(2) If a permit or other prescribed document is produced agreeing with the goods in all respects, the officer may endorse thereon the time and place of his examination thereof.

200. Power to stop and search vessels, carts, etc., and to seize goods which appear to be contraband.-

(1)Any officer, who is in Central Excise uniform, or who possesses a card showing his identity, may, if duly empowered by the Commissioner, require any person who is in immediate possession, control or use of any vessel, cart, or other means of conveyance, to stop such vessel, cart, or other means of conveyance, and search it, for excisable goods, saltpetre or composition for match-heads for the manufacture of matches, and may seize and remove or detain any such goods or articles in respect of which it appears to him that duty should have, but has not, been levied, or that any contravention of the provisions of the Act or these rules has occurred.

(2) If any such person fails to comply with such requirement, such officer may use any reasonable means to compel compliance, and the said person shall be punishable with a penalty which may extend to two thousand rupees.

201. Power to enter and search.-

The Central Government may empower any officer of any department under  its control to-

(1) enter and search at any time by day or by night any land, building, enclosed place, premises, vessel, conveyance or other place upon or in which he has reason to believe that excisable goods, saltpetre or composition for match-heads for the manufacture of matches are processed, sorted, stored, manufactured, or carried in contravention of the provision of the Act or these Rules; and

(2) in case of resistance break open any door and remove any other obstacle to his entry upon or into and search of such land, building, enclosed place, premises, vessel, conveyance or other place.

202. Power to require access to place, vessel or conveyance for inspection or examination of goods.-

(1) Any officer duly empowered under rule 200 or rule 201, as the case may be, may require any person who has the immediate possession, control or use of any land, building, enclosed place, premises, vessel, conveyance or other place which he desires to search under these rules, or of any excisable goods, composition for match-heads or saltpetre, for the manufacture of matches, processed, sorted, stored, manufactured or carried thereupon or therein to open or allow access to inspect or examine such place or conveyance, or to open, unload, unpack or allow the inspection or examination of such articles.

(2) If such person fails to comply with any such requirement, such officer may cause anything to be done which he may deem necessary in order to exercise his powers, under these rules in a proper manner, and the cost incurred in this behalf, unless paid to such officer, shall be recoverable from the said person as an arrear of land revenue.

203. Police to take charge of articles seized.-

All officers in charge of police stations shall take charge of and keep in safe custody, pending the orders of the Magistrate or of the adjudicating Central Excise Officer, all things seized under the Act or these Rules which may be delivered to them, and shall allow any officer who may accompany such goods to the police station, or who may be deputed for the purpose by his superior officer, to affix his seal to such things or to take samples of and from them. All samples so taken shall also be sealed with the seal of the officer-in-charge of the police station.

204. Issue of summons.-

Every summons issued under the Act shall be in writing, in duplicate, and shall state the purpose for which it is issued, and shall be signed by the officer issuing it and shall also bear his official seal, if he has any.

205. Omitted

206. Disposal of things seized.-

(1) The owner or person having the charge of any animal seized and detained shall provide from day-to-day tor its keep while detained, and, if he fails so to do, such animal may be sold by public auction, and the expenses (if any) incurred on account of it defrayed from the proceeds of the sale.

(2) The surplus proceeds of a sale under this rule shall, if not claimed by the owner of the animal seized within a period of three months, be forfeited, to the Central Government.

(3) Anything seized by a Central Excise Officer may, pending the orders of the adjudicating Central Excise Officer, be released to the owner on taking a bond from him in the proper Form, with such security as the Commissioner may require

207. Charge by whom to be preferred.-

A charge of an offence under section 9 of the Act shall not be made except by an officer not inferior in rank to an Inspector.

208. Customs Officers to exercise the same powers as Central Excise Officers.-

Every officer customs duly empowered by the Commissioner shall have use, and exercise all such and the like powers and authorities for the search, examination, seizure, detention, removal and prosecution of any vessel, cart, or other means of conveyance, or any horse or other animal, or any goods liable to confiscation under the Act or these rules as are, or may be, conferred on the like Officer of Excise.