Registration (Importers and Exporters) Order, 1952


(Importers and Exporters) Order, 1952

S. 4. Cancellation of import registration certificate without
show-cause notice offends against the principle of natural justice.

Gournaga Mohan Sikdar Vs. Controller of Imports & Exports
(1967) 19 DLR 719.


— Clause 4. Suspension of export or import certificate pending an

The question
arose was whether the principles of natural justice would he attracted to a
case of temporary suspension of an export and import certificate pending
enquiry into the conduct of the exporter or importer.

may be a punitive suspension or one in aid of an enquiry. An order in the
nature of punishment is always required to be preceded by a properly
constituted enquiry. The other kind of suspension is designed to facilitate the
due prosecution of the enquiry. Such a temporary suspension is deemed to be an
implied term in every contract of service.

Messrs East Exports Vs. Chief Controller of Imports & Exports
(1965) 17 DLR (SC) 508.


—Temporary suspension of an export or import certificate has
different consequences from the suspension of Government servants.

On this
principle it may be said that the Chief Controller can also exercise this power
summarily pending an enquiry against the Importer (as in the present case). It
must, however, be remembered that the Government servant, by reason of his
suspension, does not lose his office or suffer degradation. He merely ceases to
discharge the duties of his office during pendency o the departmental enquiry
against him. Ho also draws a subsistence allowance during the period of
suspension. In the event of his honor- able acquittal he is allowed to draw
full salary for the period of suspension.

Clause 4(4) On the other hand, if an Export or Import Registration
Certificate is temporarily suspended, it may cause incalculable harm to the
importer or exporter for which he cannot get any redress even if later on the
order of suspension is withdrawn. If suspension continues longer it may even
totally destroy his trade. It is, therefore, desirable that this summary power
should be exercised very sparingly, and that too only when the urgency of the
situation demands it. Even then the authority concerned should without the
least possible delay inform the person concerned of the charges against him. Ibid.


Clauses 4(2),(3) — Suspension of certificate without giving
reasons, invalid— Investigation as to the charge should be held with

Now in this
case, soon after issue in the order of 
the Assistant Controller sent a letter to Exporter in which he asked him
to show because why “his Export Registration Certificate should not be
cancelled under the provision of Clause 4(1) (b) read with clause 4(1)(g) of
the said Order.” In spite of the Exporter’s pointing Out that because of the
vagueness of the charges it was not reasonably possible for him to answer the
same, he did not receive reply, whatsoever, from the authority.

(2) and (3) of Clause 4 of the Registration (Importers & Exporters) Order
clearly impose an obligation on the Controller to give reason for his order
suspending the Export and Import Regulation certificate.

In view of
the fact that delay was causing irremediable harm to the exporter, the
Assistant Controller should have invested the case with reasonable promptitude.

Assistant Controller cannot be permitted to evade his duty by a device of
delaying the enquiry on some pretext or other and then refusing to reach a
decision. Ibid.


—Clause 5. [See under clause 4 in case of Messrs East Export’s Vs. Chief
Controller Imports & Exports 17 DLR (SC) 508 above.]