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Delhi HC issues notice on plea challenging policy for importing poppy seeds from Turkey
The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Government of India on a plea challenging the policy for importing poppy seeds from Turkey to India.
Quash the public Notice dated on January 7, 2022, and Guidelines dated on May 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 for the ensuing Crop Year 2021-22 being arbitrary, ultra vires, and unconstitutional, stated petition.
The bench of Justice V Kameshwar Rao in an order passed on February 2, issued notice to the respondent Government of India while directing it to file a counter-affidavit and slated the matter for March 16, 2022.
The plea further sought direction to respondents to suitably modify/amend the impugned Guidelines dated on May 25, 2019, 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 & RBI. Petitioner Rajiv Aggarwal stated to be engaged in the business of import/export of food grains for the last several years, said that he is entangled in the web of grey areas of Law, which prohibit Indian importers from making any advance import payment without first obtaining the import license from the competent authority.
Counsel for petitioner M Sufian Siddiqui submitted that the impugned policy is ex-facie in contravention and teeth of the FEMA Laws and RBI Circulars, as per which there is an explicit prohibition from making any 'Advance Import Remittance' concerning goods included in the 'Negative List' requiring a license, and as import of 'Poppy Seeds' require a license, it falls in the 'Negative List', and as such, no 'Advance Import Remittance' could be made without obtaining the import license from Central Bureau of Narcotics.
However, the impugned policy affords an option to make advance import remittance without obtaining the license, the lawyer argued.
Advocate M Sufiyan Siddiqui further submitted that the impugned Policy is arbitrary, opaque, inequitable, ultra vires and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, premised on a 'first come first serve' basis, which is consistently condemned by the Supreme Court in a catena of judgments being fundamentally flawed, as it has inherently dangerous implications.